Ukrainians will create their own miracle this Christmas by showing they remain unbowed despite Russian attacks that have plunged millions into darkness, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a defiant message on Saturday.
Speaking 10 months to the day since Russian launched a war that has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions more, Zelenskyy said that while freedom came at a high price, slavery would cost even more.
“We endured at the beginning of the war,” he said. “We endured attacks, threats, nuclear blackmail, terror, missile strikes. Let’s endure this winter because we know what we are fighting for.”
Relentless Russian missile and drone attacks since October have caused massive damage to the country’s energy infrastructure, regularly leaving major cities without water and heat.
Zelenskyy made his remarks in a video address to Ukrainians who celebrate Christmas in December. Most Ukrainians are Orthodox Christians and mark the occasion in early January.
“Even in total darkness – we will find each other – to hug each other tightly,” he said. “And if there is no heat, we will give a big hug to warm each other.”
“We will smile and be happy. As always. The difference is one. We will not wait for a miracle. After all, we create it ourselves.”
The clip, which lasted just less than nine minutes, was filmed outside at night with just a few white lights and a Christmas tree in the background.
Zelenskyy noted Ukrainian troops were fighting battles in the eastern Donbas region while others were in exile both home and abroad, having fled the Russians.
“We have been resisting them for more than three hundred days and eight years,” he said, a reference to Russia’s 2014 occupation of Crimea. “And will we allow them to achieve what they want?”