Ukrainians turn on Kyiv Christmas lights in defiance of Putin's attack

Brave Ukrainians turn on Christmas tree lights in Kyiv in defiance of Putin’s ‘kamikaze’ drone attack on energy infrastructure hours earlier

  • Ukranian citizens in Kyiv celebrated Christmas by turning on its city tree lights 
  • The 12-meter tree sits at the heart of St Sophia Square 
  • The tree is lit up with the country flag’s colours and topped with a trident
  • The country were determined to celebrate despite Russian attacks hours before 

Brave Ukrainian citizens turned on Christmas tree lights in Kyiv despite Putin’s ‘kamikaze’ drone attack on their energy infrastructure mere hours earlier.

A 12-meter tree was put in place in a square in front of St Sophia Cathedral in the Kyiv city center as Ukrainians were determined to celebrate Christmas in spite of the ongoing attacks by Russia. 

At the top of the tree is the Ukrainian coat of arms shaped like a traditional trident – it is illuminated with the country’s colours of blue and yellow.

The country is continuing to show its efforts of perseverance and unity even after Russia hit key energy infrastructure in and around Kyiv in a ‘kamikaze’ drone attack today.

People in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv are preparing for the Christmas and the New Year’s holidays, despite ongoing attacks by the Russian military by lighting their city’s tree

Kyiv mayor, Vitali Klitschko, was in attendance of the inauguration ceremony of the Christmas tree set up in Saint Sophia Square

A generator will supply power to the tree to ensure the celebration is able to continue throughout the festive season. 

Ukrainian’s armed forces General Staff said its air defences shot down 23 of 28 drones – most over the Ukrainian capital – in what was the third Russian air strike in six days and the latest in a series since October targeting the Ukrainian power grid, causing sweeping blackouts amid sub-zero temperatures.

No casualties were reported as a result of the drone strikes, although nine buildings were damaged in the city region.

Ukrainians continue to show their efforts of perseverance and unity even after Russian attacks

The tree, lit up in the country’s flag colours is a symbol of hope for locals as they celebrate the festive season

The Ukrainian atomic energy agency accused Russia of sending one of the drones over part of the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant in the Mykolaiv region.

‘This is an absolutely unacceptable violation of nuclear and radiation safety,’ Energoatom wrote on Telegram.

Invading Russian forces now occupy the Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactor complex, Europe’s largest, in southeastern Ukraine near the front line.

On top of the tree is the Ukrainian coat of arms shaped like a traditional trident

A Reuters witness said a fire raged overnight at an energy facility in the often-targeted Shevchenkivskyi district of central Kyiv, a city of 3.6 million people.

The Solomianskyi district in the western part of Kyiv, a busy transport hub and home to a train station and one of the city’s two passenger airports, was also hit.

‘As a result of the attack on the capital, critical infrastructure facilities were damaged,’ Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on the Telegram messaging app. ‘Engineers are working to quickly stabilise the situation with energy and heat supply.’

Oleskiy Kuleba, governor of the region surrounding Kyiv, said infrastructure and private homes were damaged and three areas had been left without power.

To the northwest of Ukraine, there has been constant Russian and Belarusian military activity for months in Belarus, a close Kremlin ally that Moscow’s troops used as a launch pad for their abortive attack on Kyiv in February.

Putin’s trip, for talks with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, was his first to Minsk since 2019 – before the pandemic and a wave of Belarusian street protests in 2020 that Lukashenko crushed with support from the Kremlin.

Russia hit key energy infrastructure in and around Kyiv in a ‘kamikaze’ drone attack today

‘During (these talks) questions will be worked out for further aggression against Ukraine and the broader involvement of the Belarusian armed forces in the operation against Ukraine, in particular, in our opinion, also on the ground,’ Ukrainian joint forces commander Serhiy Nayev said before Putin’s arrival.

Lukashenko has said repeatedly he has no intention of sending his country’s troops into Ukraine, where Moscow’s invasion has faltered badly of late with a string of battlefield retreats in the face of a major Ukrainian counter-offensive.

The Kremlin dismissed the suggestion that Putin wanted to push Belarus into a more active role in the conflict. The RIA Novosti news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying such reports were ‘groundless’ and ‘stupid’.

Russian troops that moved to Belarus in October will conduct battalion tactical exercises, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported, citing the defence ministry. It was not immediately clear when they would start.

The 10-month-old conflict in Ukraine, the largest in Europe since World War Two, has killed tens of thousands of people, driven millions from their homes and reduced cities to ruins.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the armed forces were holding firm in the town of Bakhmut – scene of the fiercest fighting for many weeks as Russia seeks to advance in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk province.

Today, Zelenskiy appealed to Western leaders meeting in Latvia to supply a wide range of weapons systems especially modern battle tanks, air-defence systems and artillery.

Denis Pushilin, Russian-installed administrator of the part of the Donetsk region controlled by Moscow, said Ukrainian forces shelled a hospital in Donetsk city, killing one person and injuring several others.

Firefighters were called to extinguish the fire caused by the attack drones at an infrastructure facility 

Russia’s defence ministry said that over the past 24 hours its forces had shot down four U.S.-made HARM anti-radiation missiles over the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, state-run TASS news agency reported.

Putin casts what he calls Russia’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine as the moment when Moscow finally stood up to the U.S.-led Western bloc seeking to capitalize on the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union by destroying Russia.

Kyiv and the West say his assertion is nonsense and that Putin has no justification for what they see as an imperial-style war to reassert dominance over Russia’s fellow ex-Soviet republic and put Moscow in control of around a fifth of Ukraine.

The conflict has sent energy prices soaring after Western sanctions imposed on Russia, a huge oil and gas exporter, spurred Moscow to cut off most gas deliveries to Europe in retaliation.

Source: Read Full Article