Kyiv ‘cannot let Putin steal Christmas’

Putin cannot steal Christmas

The mayor of Kyiv has said the city “cannot let Putin steal our Christmas” as Ukrainians prepare to celebrate the festive season with darkened trees.

As Russian airstrikes knock out power and wreak havoc on critical infrastructure, Kyiv’s mayor Vitaly Klitschko said Christmas trees will be erected across the Ukrainian capital to mark Christmas and the New Year.

Klitschko’s call comes after weeks of sustained aerial attacks on Ukraine’s energy grid, which have left families across the country without electricity, light or water intermittently.

A Christmas tree of “invincibility” will be installed in St Sophia Square, Klitschko said. It will be 12 meters high and “decorated with energy-saving lights” that will be generator powered.

Once Christmas passes, the company that provided the generator will donate it to the Ukrainian armed forces, according to Klitschko’s social media post.

However, energy company YASNO said the trees will not be illuminated, and mass events will remain prohibited under martial law.

But “no one is going to cancel the New Year and Christmas, and there should be an atmosphere of the New Year,” Klitschko told Ukrainian news outlet RBC-Ukraine. “We cannot let Putin steal our Christmas,” he claimed.

It was confirmed that any tree installations would not have mains-powered lights, given the pressure on the Ukrainian grid. The use of the generator appears to be an alternative.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska has urged the international community to remain focused on the conflict as the festive season approaches.

“We do hope that the approaching season of Christmas doesn’t make you forget about our tragedy and get used to our suffering,” she said in a BBC radio interview on Tuesday, while on a visit to London.

“I realise that nine months is a very long time, and Ukrainians are very tired of this war, but we have no choice in the matter. We are fighting for our lives. The British public do have a choice: They can get used to our tragedy and concentrate on their own important things in life,” she said.





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