We are the War Families of Ukraine – Mad Vlad will not stop us from celebrating Christmas and we will toast to his DEATH
WHILE GUNS ring out, rockets fly and brave soldiers trudge through muddy, snow-covered trenches – it’s still time for Christmas in Ukraine.
Putin will stuff himself in the Kremlin with the best roast his corrupt billions can buy – while across the border, millions of civilians will be desperate to keep warm.
But the brave Ukrainians will keep their spirits up as best they can – even as Vlad tries to use the cold and darkness against them in the final stages of his brutal invasion.
And as dawn breaks over a war-torn nation on Christmas Day, for many of them there is nothing more than Vlad choking on his dinner and dying.
Putin’s cruelty will not dampen the spirit of a nation that refused to bow when the tyrant invaded on February 24.
Thousands of Ukrainians will have to endure this Christmas in makeshift shelters or in the rubble of their homes.
But they dream of being able to return to their towns and villages next year – which will be free from the horrors of the Russians.
And this year, for the first time, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is allowing celebrations to begin on the western date of December 25 — a symbolic departure from the more traditional Russian date of January 7.
The Sun Online spoke to a number of Ukrainians about their Christmas plan with the help of charity NEST – which helps provide pop-up houses for those in need.
“[Vlad] is a terrible person. I don’t want to wish ill on people, but I wish he didn’t live until Christmas,” one resident, Valentyna, told The Sun Online.
Valentyna, originally from Makariv, east of Kyiv, fled with her family after hiding in a basement for nine days when her hometown was bombed in March.
The family eventually returned – only to find their beloved home in ruins and partially burned, describing the heartache as it took “a part of her soul”.
“You come there, look at these ruins, and you can’t believe that we were once happy here and everything was fine,” Valentyna said.
The family tried to put their house back in order.
With their daughter and grandchildren, they used to get together at home every year to light candles on Christmas Eve.
But for this year, instead of a tree, there’s a single fir branch – and Valentyna said they’re hoping for a “miracle”.
She dreams of having her whole family around a table in her own home again next year.
Faced with the impending lack of electricity or heating, the family uses a wood boiler to keep out the cold and cook.
Valentyna hopes that the terrible war will finally be over in the spring – but there will be heartache there too, as there will be “children without fathers, mothers without sons”.
And when asked what her Christmas message to Putin and the Russians was, she remained calm.
I will toast to Putin’s death
Vlad from Makariv
“They kill our children. They don’t pay attention to whether the child is one or two years old,” she told The Sun Online.
“So that by Christmas there would be no such nation at all. We lived quietly and peacefully, we didn’t touch anyone, we had our own plans, dreams.
“And then it all ended abruptly. I could never have believed that we would be attacked.”
Vlad Guk, also from Makariv, now lives in his garage with his wife and daughters Sonia and Polina after their house was gutted and mined by the Russians.
They heat their shelter as best they can with a generator – and even though it’s cold, they don’t mind because they keep their spirits up for the soldiers on the front line.
He explained that when they first returned to their neighborhood, they found that the Russians had vandalized their home.
Putin’s “savages” had used it as a temporary base before being driven out by Ukrainians.
And with his neighbor next door, they managed to “shit and smear it on the walls”.
Vlad’s men had even stolen his daughter’s beloved collection of Monster High and Ever After dollies.
But – they will still celebrate Christmas, decorate their home and even put up a tree.
“Christmas will be without power, I’m more than sure of that,” said Vlad.
“We just sit still with no light. You still have to celebrate. Christmas is a holiday.
“First I will toast Putin’s death, then I will stand up and toast the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“Many of my friends have died, many are fighting. We try our best to help them.”
He is optimistic that the war will be over in the new year.
“I believe that our army leadership and our president are doing a good job,” Vlad said.
“This is a war between the past and the future.
“Everyone will say: ‘Let’s be without electricity, without gas, without water, without anything, but the main thing is that we are without Russians’.
“If we lose this war, we will all be killed.”
Olesya, also from Makariv, originally fled to Poland – but returned home only to find her home had been destroyed by the Russians.
“There was nothing left, everything had burned down. The volunteers found some dishes, we will [keep] as a reminder of the house”, ehs aid.
Her husband fights on defense and she left Ukraine with her mother, 67, and their baby daughter, 3.
She explained that every third house was damaged – and they now rented half a house with a broken roof and broken windows.
And while she admits she’s struggling to find “celebratory spirit” this year, they’ll be trying to do something for her daughter.
She added: “What about the poor armed forces sitting in the trenches in the freezing cold – what kind of celebration can we speak of?”
Olesya explained that they usually prepare kutya – a traditional grain dish with sweet sauce.
They sat down with the whole family at a set table, lit a candle and celebrated under the first star, a traditional custom in Ukraine.
But this year they hope to just have a small Christmas tree with a gift for their daughter, but she said: “It’s hard to plan something because you don’t know what’s going to happen next”.
“Every Ukrainian hopes that the war will end this year. I believe it will end. I believe in good, in the armed forces, I believe other countries will help us,” she continued.
“This is my New Year’s wish – I wish that the war ends and that our armed forces do not fall ill and return to their families who are waiting for them.”
Olena Kolomiets from Kalynivka told The Sun Online: ‘I don’t want to say anything to Putin or to all Russians, they brought big problems to our house.
“I just wish that everything they did and are doing to us boomeranged back to them.
“I can’t understand what’s going on in their heads. Can they be zombified like that, or are they sick people?”
Olena and her daughter, 11, were left homeless after their beloved home – which was hand-built by her late husband – was burned down following a Russian attack in March.
They’re now holed up in a one-bedroom property that has no electricity or heat — with just a wood-burning stove to keep you warm.
The family used to enjoy visiting the Christmas tree in the town square and decorating their home for the season.
And her little daughter still dreams of Santa Claus coming to visit her this year.
She doesn’t know when the war will finally end.
“The most important thing is that our boys and girls go home safe and sound, I admire them so much. They’re heroes and they’re doing a titanic job,” Olena said.
“There is hope that by the summer they will manage to drive the enemy out of our country, by the summer it would be good.”
Ukraine has now become an international symbol of defiance as the West backs it against Russia.
But while their soldiers need guns, their people need help too.
United Nations officials estimate that around 12 million Ukrainians will be in need of humanitarian assistance, 6.6 million have been internally displaced and 6.3 million have become refugees.
The charity NEST is currently raising funds to help buy pop-up houses for families in the Kyiv region to replace the houses destroyed by the Russians.
The modular properties will be able to access heat and water for year-round living conditions.
The homes will be 100 percent family owned and could be quickly furnished to meet the needs of the most desperate.
NEST is urging people to donate $20 (£16.45) to the appeal this Christmas to give people hope of new homes in the New Year.
Sun readers can donate to the campaign with a click HERE to support the charity and the people of Ukraine.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6986659/ukraine-christmas-vladimir-putin-death/ We are the War Families of Ukraine – Mad Vlad will not stop us from celebrating Christmas and we will toast to his DEATH