Kyiv officials have said they will not allow Russia to steal Christmas, and in a show of defiance Monday night, lit up the city’s tree as many in the capital prepare to be without power for days following the latest drone strikes.
“This year there was a lot of discussion about whether to put up a Christmas tree. Considering the fact that we live in conditions of martial law, shelling and power cuts,” mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a Telegram post. “But I think we made the right decision.
“There must be a Christmas tree,” he continued. “Our children should have a holiday. Despite all the efforts of Russian barbarians to deprive Ukrainians of the joy of Christmas and New Year.”
People take photos with the mayor of Kyiv Vitaliy Klichko near the Christmas tree at the Sofiyska Square after a massive russian drones attack on Ukrainian power infrastructure early morning in Kyiv, Ukraine, Dec. 19, 2022. (Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Klitschko said that there were some concessions made and noted that the tree was not as “big and elegant as usual,” pointing out it stood roughly 40 feet tall instead of the traditional 100 feet.
However, the city mayor said this year’s tree was a “Christmas tree of indomitability,” adding that all Ukrainians want for Christmas is “peace and victory.”
“It will definitely come true,” he added. “We believe in Ukraine.”
The tree lighting came the same day Russia again levied drone strikes at the capital city in the third attack in less than a week.
People take photos the Christmas tree at the Sofiyska Square after a massive russian drones attack on Ukrainian power infrastructure early morning in Kyiv, Ukraine, Dec. 19, 2022. (Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Air defenses shot down 30 of the 35 kamikaze drones that were launched at the Solomianskyi neighborhood, which houses a major train station and two passenger airports, as well as the Shevchenkivskyi neighborhood which saw a fire erupt after an energy facility was struck, reported Reuters.
Power outages could last for up to three days in several neighborhoods across Kyiv, the mayor’s office warned according to local reporting Tuesday.
A view of dark streets as power cuts applied after energy infrastructure damaged by Russian attacks in Kyiv, Ukraine on Dec. 17, 2022. (Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
At least 144 residential buildings are said to be without heat as snow continues to fall in Kyiv, and temperatures are expected to stay close to freezing.
More than 430 “heating points” have been set up in the city where residents can go to get warm as officials attempt to restore power, Klitschko said Tuesday.
Caitlin McFall is a Reporter at Fox News Digital covering Politics, U.S. and World news.