Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses his nation every night with a speech that usually gives updates of war, whether good or bad. His delivery on Christmas Eve was more somber than upbeat. It discouraged Christmas lights and bells. He said meals aren’t warm and that there may be an empty seat or two at this year’s table.
Zelensky described a loss of love, hope and even himself as the war hits the 10-month mark on Christmas Eve.
He began his speech, on a night typically filled with good tidings, cheer and joy, as one of “bitter aftertaste” and somewhat despair.
“Unfortunately, all the holidays have a bitter aftertaste for us this year. And we can feel the traditional Spirit of Christmas differently. Dinner at the family table cannot be so tasty and warm. There may be empty chairs around it,” Zelensky said.
“Our houses and streets can’t be so bright. And Christmas bells can ring not so loudly and inspiringly. Through air raid sirens, or even worse – gunshots and explosions. And all this together can pose a bigger threat. It is a disappointment. Of the higher forces and their power, of goodness and justice in the world. Loss of hope. Loss of love. Loss of myself …”
Zelensky recently returned home after a trip in the cloak of darkness to the United States and back on Wednesday, in which he met with President Joe Biden and asked Congress to continue providing aid to his country. The U.S. approved $1.85 billion in additional aid to Ukraine, which now includes the Patriot Air Defense System.
The war is entering its 305th day on Christmas and Russia has lost more than 101,000 soldiers since their invasion on February 24 this year.
Zelensky called Russia the “evil and darkness” that has invaded his country, and he vowed Ukraine would use the “wisdom of God” to overcome it.
“Isn’t this what evil and darkness, which have taken up arms against us, want in their essence? We have been resisting them for more than three hundred days and eight years,” Zelensky said. “And will we allow them to achieve what they want?
“In this battle, we have another powerful and effective weapon. The hammer and sword of our spirit and consciousness. The wisdom of God. Courage and bravery. Virtues that incline us to do good and overcome evil.
“Our path is illuminated by faith and patience. Patience and faith. These are twin forces. As it was said, “he who rules and controls his own spirit, is better than he who captures a city.” To endure does not mean to accept the circumstances. Patience is watching to make sure that we don’t let any doubt or fear into our minds. It is faith in one’s own strength.”