Updated December 25th, 2023 at 10:20 IST
'We celebrate together': Zelenskyy delivers historic address as Ukraine celebrates Christmas on 25th
As Ukraine celebrates Christmas on December 25 for the first time in 100 years President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared a poignant Christmas message to the world.
Kyiv: As Ukraine celebrates Christmas on December 25 for the first time in 100 years, the country's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared a poignant Christmas message to the world. In his Christmas address, the Ukrainian leader expressed his excitement to celebrate the festival on the same day Ukraine's Western allies will be celebrating the event. The address from Zelenskyy came on Christmas Eve on Saturday. In his Christmas address, the Ukrainian leader also took time to highlight the grim situation at the border and vowed to recover from this tragedy.
“Today, all Ukrainians are together. We all celebrate Christmas together. On the same date, as one big family, as one nation, as one united country. And today our common prayer will be stronger than ever,” the Ukrainian leader said on Saturday. “The people's prayer. And it will be heard together with Europe and the world,” he added. In his emotional address, the Ukrainian leader noted how people's wishes changed amid the tragic war. “How children's wishes have changed. From the simple and usual ‘I wish for Dad to come home from work’ to ‘I wish for Dad to come back’. For all fathers, husbands, grandfathers to come back,” the Ukrainian leader remarked. Zelenskyy gave his Christmas address from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra which is an eastern Orthodox Christian Monastery.
Ukraine breaks away from past ties but Russia dampens the Christmas spirits
For the first time since 1917, Ukraine will be celebrating Christmas on December 25 instead of January 7, the date on which Russia and other countries belonging to the former Soviet Union celebrated the festival. The decision was taken in July this year when the Ukrainian President signed a law moving the annual celebration to 25 December which many saw as a snub to the Russian Orthodox Church. At the time of signing the law, Zelenskyy said that the country should “abandon the Russian heritage of imposing Christmas celebrations on 7 January”. after the country was brutally scarred by the horrors of the Ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
However, Christmas spirits in Kherson were dampened after Russian shelling in the Ukrainian region killed four people, including an 87-year-old man and his 81-year-old wife. The barrage injured nine other people, including a 15-year-old, sparked fires in homes and at a private medical facility, and set a local gas pipeline alight, the head of the regional military administration, Oleksandr Prokudin informed. “There are no holidays for the enemy. They do not exist for us as long as the enemy kills our people and remains on our land,” Andrii Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, wrote on X, formally known as Twitter. “Revenge of the enemy should be cold. We will never descend to his level, but Russia will definitely answer for everything. A nation of terrorists and criminals,” he added.
Published December 25th, 2023 at 10:20 IST