In a video address to Ukrainians celebrating Christmas late Saturday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said they were creating their own Christmas miracle by remaining unbowed and defiant in the face of Russian attacks.
“We endured at the beginning of the war — we withstood attacks, threats, nuclear blackmail, terror, missile strikes. We will endure this winter because we know what we are fighting for,” he said.”Dinner at the family table cannot be so tasty and warm. There may be empty chairs around it. And our houses and streets can’t be so bright,” he said.
But he added the path of the Ukrainian people is illuminated by faith and patience.
Sunday morning Reuters reported that air raid sirens wailed in Kyiv and across Ukraine, apparently in response to Russian planes taking off in Belarus.
At least 10 people were killed and 55 were injured by Russian shelling in the southern city of Kherson on Saturday.
One of the rockets landed next to a supermarket in downtown Kherson, Yuriy Sobolevskyi, first deputy head of Kherson Oblast Council, said in a Telegram post. According to Ukraine’s Interior ministry, 66 cars were on fire after the shelling.
Russia is “killing for the sake of intimidation and pleasure,” Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a post on Telegram on Saturday.
Photos of the strike — burning cars and what appeared to be corpses — were on the president’s Telegram account.
“Social networks will most likely mark these photos as ‘sensitive content,'” Zelenskyy wrote. “But this is not sensitive content — it is the real life of Ukraine and Ukrainians.”
A pro-Moscow official responded by accusing Ukraine of launching the attack in order to blame Russia.
In a tweet, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the shelling of downtown Kherson “is not only another war crime, but also revenge on its residents who resisted the occupation and proved to the whole world that Kherson is Ukraine.”
Also in the Kherson region, three Ukrainian workers were killed while trying to remove explosives left behind by retreating Russian forces.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged families in Europe, North America, and beyond to “spare a thought for Ukraine … which is fighting evil right now.”
Also Saturday, two people were killed and five people were wounded in the Donetsk region, according to the regional governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko.
Saturday marked 10 months since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Eastern Europe Bureau Chief Myroslava Gongadze contributed to this report. Some material for this article came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.