Zelensky vows to return freedom to Ukraine in Christmas message

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Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to “return freedom” to Ukraine in a defiant Christmas message. In an address to the nation to mark Christmas Eve, the Ukrainian President urged his compatriots to persevere through a tough winter.

Zelensky said: “Tears will be replaced by joy, despair will be followed by hope, and death will be conquered by life.

“We will celebrate our holidays! As always. We will smile and be happy.

“As always. The difference is one: we will not wait for a miracle, we create it ourselves.”

The festive period is being used as a way to further distinguish Ukraine from its Russian invaders, according to MailOnline.

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Orthodox Christians in both nations have historically celebrated Christmas on January 7.

However, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has opted to allow parishes to celebrate Christmas on December 25 in a move which will bring Kyiv in line with most of the Western world.

The 44-year-old added: “Today and all future winter holidays, we meet in difficult circumstances.

“Someone will celebrate the holiday in other people’s homes, but strange people’s homes – homes… who gave shelter to Ukrainians.

“Someone will hear Shchedryk in another language – in Warsaw, Berlin, London, New York, Toronto and many other cities and countries. And someone will meet this Christmas in captivity.

“Let them remember that we are also coming for our people, we will return freedom to all Ukrainian men and women.

“Wherever we are, we will be together today. We make a wish.

“One for all. And we will feel joy. One for all.

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“And we will understand the truth. One for all.”

The statement came just hours after Mr Zelensky condemned Russia for its “terror” following an artillery attack which left at least 10 people and 55 injured in Kherson.

Kherson remains a key battleground in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine despite Vladimir Putin’s troops retreating from the southern port city in November.

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