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Ukrainians Celebrate Orthodox Easter Amid Russian Weapons Threat

Ukrainians celebrate Easter as Russian troops advance, waiting for US aid; President Zelenskyy calls for unity and prayer amid conflict.

On the third consecutive year, Ukrainians celebrated Easter Sunday amidst the looming threat of Russian troops advancing in eastern Ukraine, particularly around the strategic town of Chasiv Yar. As Kyiv's troops awaited U.S. military aid to help push back the Russian forces, residents in Kostiantynivka, located 15 kilometers southwest of Chasiv Yar, attended the Orthodox Easter liturgy. Despite the cannon fire in the background, Natalia Hryhorieva, 58, expressed her determination to continue attending the Easter celebrations in the face of adversity.

Kostiantynivka, a crucial city in the industrialized Donetsk region, could potentially be the next target for a Russian onslaught if Chasiv Yar falls, according to analysts. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in an Easter message from Kyiv, urged Ukrainians to unite in prayer for each other and the soldiers on the front line, emphasizing the importance of coming together during these challenging times. He highlighted Ukraine's ongoing fight against Russia, now reaching 802 days, and called for solidarity and resilience.

In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin participated in an Easter service led by Patriarch Kirill, a strong supporter of the Russian leader and the war in Ukraine. While Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter later than Catholic and Protestant churches due to differences in the calendar, the Russian defense ministry reported seizing the village of Ocheretyne in Donetsk, escalating the conflict.

Russian forces have been targeting Ukrainian regions with artillery, drones, and bombs, causing injuries and damage to civilian buildings. The Ukrainian air force successfully downed several drones aimed at Kharkiv and Dnipro regions, preventing further casualties. Amidst these developments, Russia criticized NATO's military exercises and expressed concerns over potential escalations in tensions, particularly in light of statements from British and French leaders regarding Ukraine's right to self-defense.

As the conflict in Ukraine continues to unfold, the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people in the face of adversity remain unwavering. The ongoing struggle against Russian forces underscores the importance of unity, prayer, and international support in navigating these challenging times.

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