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Zelensky congratulates Ukrainians with Orthodox Christmas, says Ukraine ‘is united in its belief in united victory’

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 6, 2023 9:00 PM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

On the eve of Orthodox Christmas, President Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated Ukrainians on the upcoming holiday, saying that all Ukrainian holidays are now “special,” and Ukrainians are “forced to break some of our traditions in order to protect them.”

“On holidays, you should not wear dark or old, worn clothes, so that trouble does not come into the house. But trouble came to our house on February 24. So since then, we are not wearing white clothes and are fighting with dark forces,” Zelensky said.

“On a holy day, you can't clean and take out the garbage from the house, but we fight the devils and take out the garbage from our house for more than 300 days in a row,” he said.

“It is forbidden to sew and knit, but we weave camouflage nets and sew body armor, overcoming evil. On these days, our ancestors did not go hunting. But we fight so as not to become prey and defeat the beast,” Zelensky said.

According to Zelensky, the famous Ukrainian carol “Shchedryk,” also known as “Carol of the Bells,” has brought Christmas spirit to the whole planet.

“This year, this spirit of the world is given not only by our music but also by Ukrainian courage, indomitability, indomitability, invincibility,” Zelensky added.

His address comes a day after Russian dictator Vladimir Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to implement a temporary ceasefire along the entire front line in Ukraine from midday on Jan. 6 to midnight on Jan. 7.

On Jan. 5, Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church and a fervent supporter of Russia's war in Ukraine, had called for a "Christmas Truce" inspired by the famous ceasefire on the Western Front on Dec. 24, 1914, so that Orthodox Christian soldiers on both sides "could visit church services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”

The truce offer has been met with skepticism from both Kyiv and the West, with many viewing it as a ploy by Putin to regroup. Zelensky dismissed Putin's words about an Orthodox Christmas ceasefire.

"Those who continued the terror against our country and sent their people to be slaughtered definitely do not value life and even more so do not seek peace," Zelensky said.

Ukraine war latest: Putin says he wants 36-hour ceasefire, Zelensky says Russia doesn't want real truce
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