Air raid alerts ring out across Ukraine on Christmas Day: Millions across war-torn nation wake to wailing sirens as Putin’s jets take off from Belarus – after Russian shelling killed 10 in Kherson
- Air raid sirens have been ringing out across Ukraine on Christmas Day
- Unconfirmed reports say the alarms were triggered by Russian jets in Belarus
- On Christmas Eve Russia shelled Kherson, killing 10 and injuring dozens
Kyiv urged people to go to shelters after the air alert was announced, while unconfirmed Ukrainian social media reports said the alert may have been declared after Russian jets took to the skies in Belarus.
It comes as Russian shelling killed 10 in Kherson on Christmas Eve and injured 58, in what President Volodymyr Zelensky said was an act of ‘terror’.
The Ukrainian president offered a defiant message of hope to his people this Christmas, vowing to never back down as his nation remains under siege from Russia.
A video captured the moment air raid sirens sounded out across Ukraine on Christmas Day while snow fell
Lisa Shtanko, 8, looks on as a military vehicle passes behind in front of her house in the city of Lyman just two days before Christmas
Gleb Petrov, 14, looks on as he sits with his family in a basement in the city of Bakhmut in the days leading up to Christmas
Ukrainians in Kyiv and other regions across the country woke this morning to snow fall and air raid sirens (aftermath of Russian shelling in Kherson yesterday)
An injured man stands on a street after Russian shelling to Ukrainian city of Kherson on December 24
In an address to the nation to mark Christmas Eve, Zelensky urged his compatriots to persevere through a tough winter despite the absence of dead or exiled loved ones, power cuts, destruction and the threat of shelling.
Earlier on Christmas Eve, Vladimir Putin-ordered shelling left at least 10 dead and 55 injured in Kherson city , as Zelensky condemned the ‘terror’ of the attack.
In his address to the nation, the President 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.’
On the day marking 10 months since the start of the Russian invasion, shells rained around a busy market and started a fire in the southern port city which Kyiv’s forces recaptured in November.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has offered a defiant message of hope to his people this Christmas, vowing to never back down as his nation remains under siege from Russia
For many Ukrainians, Christmas this year will be celebrated in the dark and cold, with constant fear of Russian attacks.
Historically, Orthodox Christians in Ukraine had celebrated Christmas on January 7, like in Russia.
However, in an attempt to further separate itself from the enemy, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has allowed parishes to celebrate Christmas on December 25 along with most of the western world.
Zelensky also shared a message on Telegram on Saturday condemning the latest Russian attack on Kherson.
He called the attack ‘terror… killing for the sake of intimidation and pleasure’.
‘It is the real life of Ukraine… The world must see and understand what absolute evil we are fighting against,’ he said.
While today Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was ‘100 percent’ confident that his forces would destroy the Pentagon’s most advanced air defence system that US President Joe Biden has promised to send to Ukraine.
‘Of course we will destroy it, 100 percent!’ Putin said, referring to the Patriot missile battery in extracts of an interview aired on Russian television.