Russians from 11 time zones welcomed in 2023, major cities decorated with festive illuminations to celebrate the occasion.
Four thousand lighting structures have been erected in Moscow. The traditional Christmas market in Red Square was also opened, offering visitors a merry-go-round, an ice rink and various shops.
Most of the festivities went on as usual, although Russian cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg opted to cancel the fireworks and outdoor concerts that usually mark the country’s best-loved holidays. Authorities and the public have agreed that it would be unethical to hold large celebrations when the country’s troops are fighting in Ukraine.
The country’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg, was also brightly decked out for the occasion, with many locals and tourists flocking to the illuminated streets on New Year’s Eve.
Other cities have placed large fir trees with toys and ice sculptures in their main squares. In Chita, in the Russian Far East, the sculptures were dedicated to those who took part in the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
New Year’s celebrations also took place in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic (DPR and LPR), as well as in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, which joined the Russian Federation in the fall after organizing referendums. There were festivities in Mariupol, which saw heavy fighting in the early months of the conflict, and in Lugansk.
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