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Kyiv ‘s mayor: ‘We cannot allow Putin to steal our Christmas’

Kyiv plans to erect Christmas trees, minus lights, throughout the battered city in a defiant display of holiday spirit as the capital area’s millions of
residents suffer through blackouts due to Russian attacks, officials said.

November 29, 2022
By Oleksandr Kozhukhar
29 November 2022

By Oleksandr Kozhukhar

KYIV, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Kyiv plans to erect Christmas
trees, minus lights, throughout the battered city in a defiant
display of holiday spirit as the capital area’s millions of
residents suffer through blackouts due to Russian attacks,
officials said.

“No one is going to cancel the New Year and Christmas, and
the atmosphere of the New Year should be there,” Kyiv Mayor
Vitali Klitschko told the RBC-Ukraine news agency in an
interview. “We cannot allow Putin to steal our Christmas.”

Sergey Kovalenko, chief executive officer of YASNO, which
provides power to Kyiv, said on his Facebook page that to save
electricity, the trees will be without illuminations and
garlands.

“There will be the New Year’s-Christmas tree and it will be
the most energy-responsible, but still festive for all of us,”
Kovalenko said.

Klitschko said that there will be no mass gatherings or
concerts – a tradition to welcome the New Year. The city’s
businesses will sponsor trees throughout Kyiv, including on the
Sophia Square in the Old Kyiv neighbourhood.

“Christmas trees will be installed especially to remind our
children of the New Year’s mood,” Klitschko said. “You know, I
don’t want to take Santa Claus away from the children.”

Russia has been carrying out massive missile bombardments
on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure roughly weekly since early
October, with each barrage having greater impact than the last
as damage accumulates and a frigid winter sets in.

Snow has been falling in Kyiv, a city that had 2.8 million
residents before the war, as people struggled with disruptions
to electricity supply and central heating.
(Writing in Melbourne by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Cynthia
Osterman)

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