- Photos show what the festive season looks like in war-torn Ukraine.
- Christmas lights illuminate cities when there is enough electricity to power them.
- As well as Christmas gifts for themselves, children ask for anti-aircraft defense systems and victory for Ukraine.
The Christmas spirit lives on in Ukraine despite more than 300 days of war with Russia.
Although there are frequent blackouts across the country due to Russian bombing, Christmas lights illuminate cities when there is enough electricity to power them.
Even while huddled in bomb shelters, people attempt to bring some festive cheer.
The Ukrainian Christmas spirit has also spread worldwide. In many nations, solidarity with Ukraine has been expressed with dedicated prayers, seasonal aid deliveries, and the dimming of Christmas lights.
An elderly woman in her apartment complex bomb shelter in Avdiivka in the Donetsk region stands beside her small Christmas tree.
The fighting near Avdiivka, a town on the front line in eastern Ukraine, has been intense, with Russian forces trying to encircle it, the BBC reports.
In the same apartment basement, a man checks on the wood-burning stove that keeps him and his fellow bomb shelterers warm.
Jakub Porzycki/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
This Christmas tree in Tychy, Poland, has had its lights switched off to show solidarity with the Ukrainians plunged into darkness this winter.
Many European cities joined in the show of Christmas solidarity with Ukrainians under siege, during an Hour for Ukraine on December 21.
With the UN reporting that over 7.8 million refugees have fled Ukraine, many Ukrainians are celebrating the festive season away from home.
Pictured in Warsaw, Poland, Marija Berezhko gives a handmade gift to her loved ones during a festive meal at a restaurant.
Poland has received over 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine, according to UN data.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
International volunteers are working hard to ensure that Ukrainians, in their dangerous and bitterly cold winter, still can enjoy the Christmas season.
Pavlo Palamarchuk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Since the start of the war, over 13,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed, the BBC reports.
In addition to this, almost 7,000 civilians have died, according to UN data.
Christmas is also now a time of remembrance and mourning for family members that won’t be present at the festivities.
This photo shows a memorial for people who died in violent protests against the then-Ukrainian government forming closer ties with Russia in 2014.
The protests marked the start of the wars between Ukraine and Russia.
Olena Znak/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Children gather around a storyteller at “St. Nicholas’ Hut” in the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life in Lviv, Ukraine, listening to the traditional story of St Nicholas, the religious inspiration for Santa Claus and Father Christmas, on December 19.
As well as gifts for themselves, the children asked St Nicholas for anti-aircraft defense systems, peace, and victory for Ukraine said the photographer who took the image.
Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images
War and fear in Ukraine are now a part of daily life, but they will not let it dampen the Christmas spirit.
Hours after Russia launched a “kamikaze” drone attack hitting key infrastructure in and around Kyiv, Mayor of Kyiv Vitaliy Klichko and his fellow Ukrainians gathered around the Sofiyska Square Christmas tree.
A semblance of hope and joy as Ukrainians do what they can to bring in the festive season.