Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says in Christmas Eve address that ‘day by day, the darkness is losing’.
Russian attacks on Ukraine’s southern Kherson region have killed five people, according to Ukrainian officials, while Russian-installed authorities reported one person killed in Ukrainian shelling of the Russian-occupied eastern town of Horlivka.
Ukrainian officials said the deaths in the attacks on Sunday include an 87-year-old man and his 81-year-old wife who were killed when their Kherson City apartment building was shelled.
Oleksandr Tolokonnikov, the head of the press office of Kherson’s regional military administration, said nine other people, including a 15-year-old, were wounded and gas and water supplies were partially cut off in the attacks.
“There are no holidays for the enemy,” Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said in a post on social media. “They do not exist for us as long as the enemy kills our people and remains on our land.”
Russian forces have carried out repeated shelling of the city of Kherson since abandoning the administrative centre of the region more than a year ago.
The latest assault came as Ukraine prepared to mark Christmas on December 25 for the first time, after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a law moving the celebration from the January 7 date observed by the Russian Orthodox Church.
In an address to mark Christmas Eve, Zelenskyy assured Ukrainians fighting against Russia that “step by step, day by day, the darkness is losing”.
“Today, this is our common goal, our common dream. And this is precisely what our common prayer is for today. For our freedom. For our victory. For our Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said.
In Russian-controlled Horlivka, about 600km (400 miles) northeast of Kherson, Ukrainian shelling killed one woman and wounded six others, the Russian-installed mayor Ivan Prikhodko said on the Telegram messaging app.
The attacks also destroyed a shopping centre and several other buildings, Prikhodko said.
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