Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

People and Entertainment

Ukraine clings to holiday vibe despite New Year strikes

#Ukraine #clings #holiday #vibe #Year #strikes

Viktoria Lukovenko was making a salad for a New Year’s Eve party on Saturday when explosions overhead sent her running for cover in a Kyiv metro station.

Two hours later, as the air raid warning lifted, she was back in her kitchen peeling boiled eggs and trying on outfits, determined not to let the latest Russian strikes derail her holiday plans. 

“We will ring in the new year with our circle of friends,” the 18-year-old university student told AFP. 

“I think it’s really cool that even in these conditions we can have this luxury for ourselves.” 

Saturday’s volley of strikes killed at least one man in Kyiv and injured 20 other people, officials said, with attacks also reported in the southern Mykolaiv region and the western Khmelnytskyi region.

Yet across the capital, residents weary from 10 months of war said they had no intention of changing their party plans — many involving all-night gatherings because of a curfew which lasts from 11 pm to 5 am.

Filmmaker Yaroslav Mutenko, 23, was in the shower when a loud explosion tore open one corner of the four-star Hotel Alfavito just down the street from his apartment.

As he watched rescue workers cordon off the rubble-strewn street in front of the hotel, he told AFP that he, too, would go to a friend’s house for a party in the evening. 

“Our enemies, the Russians, can destroy our calm but they cannot destroy our spirit,” he said. 

“Why do I go celebrate with friends? Because this year I understand that it is important to have people near.” 

– ‘Important to be here’ – 

As Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted in his annual New Year’s address that Russia had “moral, historical rightness” on its side, Ukrainian officials denounced the latest attacks. 

“War criminal Putin ‘celebrates’ New Year by killing people,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter. 

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidency, said Moscow’s idea of a New Year’s Eve celebration appeared to involve “footage of destroyed residential buildings in Ukraine”. 

Waiting for the air raid warning to lift, Kyiv residents huddled in underground metro stations, some women already donning the brightly embroidered traditional skirts they would wear to parties later in the evening. 

Khrystyna, a 30-year-old financial analyst who gave only her first name, told AFP she was visiting Kyiv from her current base in Norway and said she had no regrets about coming home for the holidays. 

“It’s still important to be here, and I think it also helps to experience it as it is,” she said. 

Last year her friends hosted a “Viking” themed New Year’s Eve party, but this year they planned a more subdued gathering with fewer people, she said. 

“I’m really looking forward to when the air raid finishes so that I can go and meet them,” she said.

– Dreaming of ‘victory’ –

The strikes on Saturday immediately raised concerns about more power cuts, which have plunged millions into darkness in recent weeks as Russia has ramped up what it describes as attacks on energy infrastructure. 

Shopping for fresh fruit and sushi at a market in central Kyiv, 45-year-old Yevgeny Starovoytov said he had already been planning for a quiet evening at home and that his family had gotten used to the blackouts. 

“It is even good. When there is no light, there is no internet connection, then there is a chance to play and talk,” he said, noting that in normal times it can be hard to tear his seven-year-old son away from mobile phones and digital devices. 

Not everyone was in high spirits, however. 

At a nearby caviar stand, 40-year-old vendor Oleksiy Tykhonov bemoaned the lack of customers. 

“Apparently there is no festive mood, and there are not enough funds,” he said, adding that in peacetime the market would be full with last-minute shoppers. 

The empty scene left him with just one wish for 2023: military victory. 

“There is no need for holidays — the new year, the old year, it does not matter,” he said. 

“The main thing is that we win and as soon as possible.”

Social Tags:
#Ukraine #clings #holiday #vibe #Year #strikes

You May Also Like


State would join dozens of others in enacting legislation based on federal government’s landmark whistleblower statute, the False Claims Act

press release

With a deep understanding of the latest tech, Erbo helps businesses flourish in a digital world.

press release

#Automotive #Carbon #Canister #Market #Projected #Hit #USD New York, US, Oct. 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  According to a comprehensive research report by Market...

press release

Barrington Research Analyst James C.Goss reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of IMAX Corp IMAX with a Price target of $20. As theaters...