It had been “a year of anguish, sadness, faith, and solidarity,” according to Volodymyr Zelensky.
As he and other Ukrainians commemorated the somber first anniversary of the Russian invasion that forever changed their lives, the president of Ukraine vowed to work toward triumph in 2023.
President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that Ukrainians had proven themselves to be “invincible” in what he called “a year of anguish, sadness, faith, and solidarity” as dawn broke on a day of remembrance and defiance.
The tweet proclaimed, “We know that 2023 will be the year of our victory!
In a forceful video message, Mr. Zelensky recalled the fear that the Russian attack had caused a year prior, which led to the beginning of the largest and deadliest war in Europe since the Second World War.
The Russian invasion date of February 24, 2022, according to him, will be “the longest day of our life.”
“We made it through the first day of the major conflict. Although we had no idea what the future held, we were fully aware that each day required fighting. And we clashed,” he claimed.
Ukrainians organized memorials, candlelight vigils, and other ceremonies to honor their tens of thousands of fallen soldiers, a number that keeps rising as fighting intensifies, particularly in eastern Ukraine.
Mercifully, air raid alarms did not sound overnight in the capital, Kyiv, and dawn broke quietly.
Still, the government recommended that schools move classes online and office employees were asked to work from home.
Tributes to Ukraine’s resilience flowed from overseas. The Eiffel Tower in Paris was among monuments illuminated in Ukraine’s colours — yellow and blue.