STORY: Ukrainian soldiers in frontline trenches marked the New Year with sadness and resolve, remembering the fallen and vowing to fight until they achieved victory.
Forty-nine year-old Oleh Zahrodsky volunteered for the Ukrainian army's 68th Brigade in the eastern Donetsk region, following his son’s mobilization.
Zahrodsky fought back tears as he described how his son is now fighting for his life after a suffering head injury.
"It is very tough now. Brain injury, swelling and inflammation of the brain. In the hospital in Dnipro."
Bombardment and air raids marked the start of the New Year as Russia continued intense attacks in Ukraine, following a barrage of missiles fired on New Year's Eve.
Pavlo Pryzhehodskiy, a musician in civilian life, marked the New Year with a performance of a song he composed and dedicated to twelve members of his unit who were killed in a single night.
And Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko briefly left the Ukrainian capital to visit soldiers in the Donetsk city of Bakhmut, the epicenter of fierce fighting in recent weeks.
He praised (quote), “the boys who defend our Ukraine every single day,” and concluded with chants of “glory to Ukraine,” with rousing responses from the soldiers that included, “death to the enemy!”
Despite heavy fighting around Bakhmut, the city has remained in Ukrainian hands for the duration of the 10-month war, though much of it lies in ruins.