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People in central Kyiv greeted with cheers Sunday the lighting of the capital’s Christmas tree, which was lit for the first time a week ago and has been lit every night since.
The Christmas tree is located in Sofia Square – the traditional place for Christmas and New Year holidays, which usually includes a Christmas market – in the center of the Ukrainian capital.
The moment the tree was lit up with the help of an electric generator was met with enthusiasm from the crowd that had gathered to witness the moment.
Lit in blue and yellow, like the Ukrainian national flag, the 12-metre tree is decorated with white doves and topped with an ornament representing the coat of arms of Ukraine, a symbol of the country, which has been ravaged by Putin’s war since February. 24 this year.
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said earlier this year that the decorations would be 100% funded by local businesses and that the tree would be decorated with “energy-saving lights”.
Igor Zholudiev, an IT professional originally from Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, told CNN he found the moment “inspiring.”
“Normally we weren’t that happy about it. But in this difficult year, when there are almost no holidays, when these holidays are not felt, this lighting of the tree is inspiring. It really feels like Christmas,” he told CNN, adding that his wishes “for the New Year, Christmas and birthday are the same: victory and a peaceful sky above our heads.”
Igor and Victoria, a married couple also present in the square, echoed his sentiments.
“We want the Russians out of our land, that’s the only wish,” they told CNN, adding that they hoped for “some ray of good” this Christmas and New Year.
“We came here with our child. She was born during an air raid and also needs happiness. Our daughter is 9 months old, she was born on March 31,” they said.
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