KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s leader pledged Friday to push for victory in 2023 as he and other Ukrainians marked the somber anniversary of the Russian invasion that upended their lives and Europe’s security.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the country’s dogged resistance a year on has proven that “every tomorrow is worth fighting for.”
On a day of commemorations, reflection and tears, the Ukrainian president’s defiant tone captured the national mood of resilience in the face of Europe’s biggest and deadliest war since World War II. Zelenskyy, who became a symbol of Ukraine’s refusal to bow to Moscow, said Ukrainians proved to be invincible during “a year of pain, sorrow, faith and unity.”
“We have been standing for exactly one year,” Zelenskyy said. Feb. 24, 2022, he said, was “the longest day of our lives. The hardest day of our modern history. We woke up early and haven’t fallen asleep since.”
Ukrainians wept at memorials for their tens of thousands of dead. Though Friday marked the anniversary of the full-scale invasion, combat between Russian-backed forces and Ukrainian troops has raged in the country’s east since 2014. New drone footage showed the town of Marinka was razed, along with others.
Russian shelling killed another three civilians and wounded 19 others in the most recent 24-hour spell, Ukraine’s presidential office said.
Ukrainians looked back at a year that changed their lives and at the clouded future.
“I can sum up the last year in three words: Fear, l