AP

Ukrainians reflect on anniversary of Russian invasion

Feb 24, 2023, 3:36 AM | Updated: Feb 26, 2023, 2:13 pm

Anastasiia Okhrimenko, 26, reacts next to the grave of her husband Yurii Stiahliuk, a Ukrainian ser...

Anastasiia Okhrimenko, 26, reacts next to the grave of her husband Yurii Stiahliuk, a Ukrainian serviceman who died in combat on Aug. 24 in Marinka, during a memorial service to mark the one-year anniversary of the start of the Russia Ukraine war, in a cemetery in Bucha, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The anniversary on Friday of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a somber day for many of the country’s 43 million people. Here’s a selection of what some of them said:

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“I can sum up the last year in three words: Fear, love, hope.” — Oleksandr Hranyk, a school director in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

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“For me, it’s a terrible pain and a day where I don’t want to go back in my thoughts, rewatch photos or videos. A very tough day.” — Daria Horda, 25, who hasn’t seen her family in Russian-occupied Nova Kakhovka since Moscow’s troops rolled across Ukraine’s borders on Feb. 24, 2022.

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“This day has become a symbol for me that we have survived for a whole year and will continue to live.” — Tetiana Klimkova, a Kyiv resident who has a ribbon on her purse in Ukraine’s blue and yellow national colors.

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“Victory is ours; Young people will live.” — Nelia Zamostian, 62, who was attending a church memorial service in Bucha, a town outside Kyiv that became an early symbol of Russian atrocities.

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“We have been standing for exactly one year. And we still know: every tomorrow is worth fighting for.” — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

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“We celebrate not a year of the war, but a year of resilience, humanity and salvation. A year of united Ukraine that has changed the world.” — Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska.

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“Ukraine is entering a new period, with a new task — to win” — Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov.

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“It’s hard not to imagine that from now on, we’re more than a year apart from our normal lives.” — Ukrainian writer Viktoria Amelina.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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Ukrainians reflect on anniversary of Russian invasion