Mass Evacuation in Belgorod as Soldiers Celebrate Orthodox Christmas

In a photo released by the Russian Orthodox Church Press Service, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill delivers the Christmas service in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, on Jan. 6, 2024.

Russian Border City Evacuation

More than 100 residents of the Russian border city of Belgorod have evacuated to a safer area further from the Ukrainian border, according to local officials. This comes after Ukrainian attacks on Dec. 30 resulted in the deaths of 25 people, with ongoing rocket and drone attacks throughout the week.

Orthodox Christmas Celebrations

Meanwhile, Russian military personnel marked Orthodox Christmas on Sunday, with military priests leading prayer services on the front line. Russian President Vladimir Putin joined families of military personnel who have died in the war in Ukraine at Christmas Eve services at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence in the western suburbs of Moscow.

Conflict Escalation

In response, Ukrainian air defense shot down 21 of 28 drones launched by Russia overnight, with Russia also launching three anti-aircraft missiles against Ukraine. The southern city of Kherson experienced numerous shelling attacks from Russian-occupied parts of the Kherson region, resulting in casualties and injuries.

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