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Ukrainians visit graves on first Sunday after Orthodox Easter

Friends and relatives visit the grave of a Ukrainian serviceman at the Kryvyi Rih cemetery in eastern Ukraine, Sunday, April 23, 2023.
Friends and relatives visit the grave of a Ukrainian serviceman at the Kryvyi Rih cemetery in eastern Ukraine, Sunday, April 23, 2023. Copyright Bernat Armangue/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Bernat Armangue/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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On the first Sunday after Orthodox Easter, Ukraine remembered its fallen soldiers that died at the peril of Russia's full-scale invasion

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It is tradition for Ukrainian citizens to visit cemeteries on the first Sunday after Orthodox Easter when a week of prayer for the dead begins.

However, this year the event held an even deeper meaning, as families across Ukraine visited the graves of loved ones who lost their lives since Russia's full-scale invasion began in February 2022.

People traditionally bring food to the cemetery and eat and drink by the graves of their relatives and friends as they remember them.

In the central city of Kryvyi Rih, many who came to visit their relatives also paid a visit to a new section of the main cemetery.

“We remember our relatives. But before we remembered grandfathers and grandmothers, those who already lived their lives, but this year, this day is unusual because, in the last year, we have buried many of our friends and people we know," says Tatiana Platina, Kryvyi Rih resident visiting the graveyard.

For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also commented on the country's fallen soldiers in his nightly address – saying that the ongoing battles would bring peace to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy also praised the Ukrainian brigades’ efforts in resisting Russian aggression, notably in the Donetsk region, in areas such as Avdiivka, Maryinka, Bakhmut, Lyman and Siversk.

Ukrainian volunteers train for counteroffensive

Training has begun for a new assault brigade in the Kharkiv region where troops are preparing for an anticipated counteroffensive.

While many of the men in training have already served on the frontline, exposure to the war varies from person to person.

"We have varied experiences,” said Maksym, a national guard soldier. “The more experienced taught those who were less experienced. Soldiers shared their life hacks from working with armoured machines and weapons.”

“The soldiers learned something they will not be taught anywhere else. Therefore, what the war taught them, no training centre or person can teach them."

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