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Ukraine celebrates New Year amid Russian drone attack (PHOTOS)

Ukrainians celebrate the New Year in front of Ukraine's main festive tree, installed on Sofiiska Square, as the air raid alarm sounds in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 31, 2023, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (STR/NurPhoto/Getty Images)
by Irynka Hromotska January 2, 2024 12:21 AM 5 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Ukrainians navigated a spectrum of emotions as New Year's Eve unfolded, from taking part in joyous celebrations in central Kyiv to the somber aftermath of Russia's largest air attack since the start of the full-scale war a few days prior.

While some celebrated with their friends and family far from the front line, Ukrainian soldiers sought a few moments of quiet celebration in the country's east and south.

President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the nation in the minutes leading up to midnight, expressing gratitude to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and civil society for their exceptional sacrifices in the ongoing struggle against Russian aggression.

New Year's Eve and the early hours of New Year's Day unleashed another wave of Russian aggression against Ukrainian cities. Russia launched 90 Shahed drones against Ukraine overnight, 87 of which Ukrainian air defense successfully intercepted, according to the Air Force.

The determination of Ukraine's Armed Forces to safeguard the nation's people, sovereignty, and commitment to freedom was emphasized once again as Ukraine entered into yet another year of war in 2024.

First responders at the site of a Russian missile strike on a bank in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 31, 2023, in Kharkiv. Twenty-eight people, including two children, were injured in Russia's attack on the city. The children, aged 14 and 16, were hospitalized. (Viacheslav Mavrychev/Suspilne Ukraine/Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images)
People dressed in traditional Ukrainian folk costumes sing carols to bring in the New Year in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 31, 2023. There were no state-organized New Year's Celebrations in Kyiv for security reasons. Ukraine's Air Force urged Ukrainians to heed the air raid sirens due to the increased potential for Russian attacks. (Danylo Antoniuk/Anadolu/Getty Images)
People dressed in traditional Ukrainian folk costumes perform carols to celebrate New Year's Eve in a metro station during an air raid in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 31, 2023. (Danylo Antoniuk/Anadolu/Getty Images)
People gather to bring attention to the fact that Ukrainian prisoners of war, held captive by Russia, will be unable to spend New Year's Eve with their families in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 31, 2023. (Danylo Antoniuk/Anadolu/Getty Images)
President Volodymyr Zelensky gives a New Year's address on Dec. 31, 2023. He thanked Ukraine's military and civil society for their immense sacrifices amid Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine. (Presidential Office)
Ukrainian soldiers celebrate the New Year at an undisclosed location on the front line in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, on Dec. 31, 2023. (Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu/Getty Images)
Ukrainian military medics carry wounded soldiers for treatment near Avdiivka, Ukraine, on Dec. 31, 2023. (Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu/Getty Images)
A Ukrainian soldier at a Ukrainian position on the front line near Avdiivka, Ukraine, on Dec. 31, 2023. (Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu/Getty Images)
The aftermath of a Russian kamikaze drone attack on Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 31, 2023. The inner wall of a municipal building was severely damaged. Twenty-eight people, including two children, were injured in Russia's attack on the city.(Viacheslav Mavrychev/Suspilne Ukraine/Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images)
Wounded Ukrainian soldiers wait to be transferred for medical treatment on the front line near Avdiivka, Ukraine, on Dec. 31, 2023. (Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu/Getty Images)
Firefighters take a break amid rescue operations at a local museum dedicated to historical figure Roman Shukhevych that was destroyed in a Russian attack in Lviv, Ukraine, on Jan. 1, 2024. (Mykola Tys/Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images)
A woman walks toward the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, which was damaged after a Russian attack on Lviv, Ukraine, on Jan. 1, 2024. (Yuriy Dyachyshyn/AFP/Getty Images)
A street decorated for New Year in Lviv, Ukraine, on Dec. 31, 2023. (Pavlo Palamarchuk/Anadolu/Getty Images)
Ukraine’s 2023 in photos
The year 2023 was another year defined by heartbreak and resilience for millions of Ukrainians as Russia continued its brutal war against Ukraine. The onset saw a massive Russian strike on a residential building in Dnipro that killed 46 people. Then there was a Kakhovka Dam destruction, which evide…
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