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Ukrainians Celebrate Easter In The Shadow Of War

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(CTN News) – Ukrainians have suffered intensive battles, brutal airstrikes, and unimaginable losses, but this weekend they will attempt to celebrate Orthodox Easter, one of their most important holidays.

On top of being a traditional time of reflection and rebirth, this Sunday will mark exactly two months since Russian forces invaded on February 24.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky pondered the meaning of Saturday’s date during his nightly address. “Today was Holy Saturday for Eastern Rite Christians, the day between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. It seems Russia has become accustomed to such a day,” he said.

As fighting escalates in the south and east of the country, many Ukrainians are turning to their faith for solace, while others are traveling home from Poland to be among loved ones for Easter.

When I saw my husband again on my first night here, it still felt like a dream,” Anna-Mariia Nykyforchyn, 25, tells CNN from Lviv, a western city largely spared the Russian assault.
Nykyforchyn was nine months pregnant when the war began, and she was one of more than five million people forced to leave. Two days ago, she returned with her baby Marharyta.

“It was important to me to get back home before Easter,” she says, before sharing her excitement over the prospect of the grandparents meeting the new member of the family. “I wanted us to be together. It’s such a ray of hope for the future.”

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