For many Ukrainian Orthodox Christians, Christmas came early this year. Traditionally, they observe the holiday in early January, like many Russians. But as the war rages on, marking the day on December 25th is another way of standing apart from their aggressor.
In his nightly video address to the nation, President Zelenskyy sent Christmas greetings to those who were celebrating - but warned that the holiday won't mean an end to Russian attacks:
"There are only a few days left this year. We must be aware that our enemy will try to make this time dark and difficult for us. Russia lost everything it could this year. But it is trying to compensate for its losses with the gloating of its propagandists after rocket attacks on our country and on our energy. I know the darkness will not prevent us from leading the occupiers to their new defeats. But we have to be ready for any scenario."
Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, told state-owned broadcaster RTR that he's ready to start peace talks:
"I believe we are acting in the right direction. We're defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people. I reiterate, we don't have any other choices but to protect our citizens. However, we are prepared to negotiate some acceptable outcomes with all the participants of this process. But it's their business. It's not us who refuse talks, it's them."
On Sunday, Russia's defence ministry released footage which it claimed shows a military priest serving on the front lines, conducting services and taking communion, even as Russian forces continue their strikes on Ukraine.