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Moscow and the War: New Year and Christmas clouded


Shortly before the turn of the year and Orthodox Christmas, many Russians do not feel like celebrating. The Ukraine war is clouding the mood - and when shopping for the festivals, many feel the Western sanctions.

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The New Year celebrations in Russia are only a few days away, and Christmas is still to come.

But the Ukraine war and the sanctions are clouding the mood.

At the Christmas market near Moscow's Gorky Park, the giant letter Z is emblazoned as a neon sign - the symbol of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine.

Certainly not all Christmas market visitors reject the war – but everyone has worries and fears.


Does the conflict in Ukraine affect your mood?

Maria, Muscovite

»Yes, directly.

It's difficult to be happy when you know that people are going through such terrible times out there.

To be honest, there's always hope that things will get better, but right now it doesn't seem like it's going to get any better."

Ivan, Moscow

»The holiday remains a holiday.

Even if our comrades out there are doing things I wish they weren't doing.

This is still a holiday for children, for grandparents.

And it should stay that way".

New Year holidays in Russia begin on December 31st and last until January 8th.

Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 7th.

Ekaterina, Christmas market visitor

»The feeling I have as the new year approaches is that although I'm not ready to celebrate it as usual, it still needs to be celebrated.

We have to give presents and so on.

I think that we have to fight this feeling of insecurity.«

The war in Ukraine and the associated Western sanctions against Moscow are also having an impact on many Russians when they go shopping for the holidays - and this sometimes leads to internal family discussions.

Leonid father

»We always buy Russian goods.

We have everything on the supermarket shelves.

Nothing has changed."

Natalia, daughter

»A lot has changed.

The selection of cheeses has drastically reduced.«

Leonid, father

"We have a dozen, more than enough of them."

Natalia, daughter


Leonid, father

"The store is full of them."

Natalia, daughter

»Not true.

Please bear with him.

I haven't found my favorite Portuguese white wine.«

Leonid, father

»Oh, what a tragedy.

There is plenty of Crimean wine.

Very good, our wine, Russian.«

Natalia, daughter

»I miss international wine a bit.

Especially when you want to treat yourself.«

Leonid, father

»In short - we have everything, we will win against everyone.

Come on, let's go."

Natalia, daughter

"You are terrible."

The letter Z is also incorporated into the lettering 2023 this year.

Among other things, it stands for the word victory.

Whether the new year will bring this for Russia in Ukraine is rather questionable at the moment.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-12-28

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