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Ukrainian families with loved ones on frontline mark Orthodox Christmas – and use TikTok to stay in touch

Halyna Bereznitska makes the Christmas dinner in the darkened kitchen.

Many people in Kiev are now dependent on intermittent power from a generator after Russian attacks on their energy grid.

The celebration dinner is casual and the food is plentiful, but her husband and son are on the frontlines.

Putin “prepares for mobilize 500,000 troops” – Ukraine war most

Image Halyna Belinitska and her husband are fighting for the frontlines

As a way of staying in touch, they watch the videos posted by their loved ones on TikTok. However, it is difficult to be absent at this time of the year.

Halyna states, “When my child went into war, my whole world was turned upside-down.”

“I asked my husband to stay home, because it would make us feel more calm.” He said, “My child is out there, I can’t be at home.”

Natalya, Oleg’s fiancée, is able to communicate with her son on the phone. She lays the phone on the table and uses the loudspeaker.

Image Natalya talked to her fiancé Oleg over the phone during Orthodox Christmas

Although the network is not perfect, it is fast enough to make connections and lift festive spirits.

She says that “all holidays this year were like this” and it doesn’t feel like a vacation.

“The exception was New Year, because Oleg enjoyed his first holiday and it turned out to be a great present.”

Image Halyna claims her world was ‘turned upside-down’ when her son went into war

Continue reading:

While dismissed as a cynical ploy by Putin, Putin’s ceasefire at home is beneficial for a different reason

This year, how Ukrainians do Christmas differently

On the Orthodox Christmas Day, you feel the strain of almost a year of war most acutely.

You can still hear the unity and defiance even in churches.

The service will be conducted in the Monastery of the Caves, Kyiv by the Ukrainian Orthodox clergy.

The Russian Orthodox Church is an outsider among the congregation. This is a reflection of another break with Moscow.

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After the 2014 annexation, the schism began in 2014. It has only grown since last year’s full-blown invasion.

Another casualty is the loss of centuries of tradition.

As they viewed the big screens outside, worshippers thought about what they had lost during this year of violence.

Natalya, a worshipper, said that it was difficult to celebrate Christ’s birth when so many Ukrainians are dying.

It has been a difficult and shocking year for Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin’s war on aggression has caused great pain and broken hearts.

Image Vladimir Putin attends the Orthodox Christmas service at Moscow’s Kremlin

The Russian leader appeared uncomfortable while posing for state television in Moscow at a Kremlin service.

He is isolated and heavily sanctioned. The war he started does not seem to be ending, and the celebratory ceasefire he commanded was dismissed as propaganda.

There is hope in Ukraine with those praying for a quick victory and the return to their occupied lands.


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