Zelenskiy wishes for 'victory' in New Year message

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STORY: "I want to wish all of us one thing - victory. And that's the main thing. One wish for all Ukrainians," Zelenskiy said in a video message a few minutes before midnight.

He reiterated, as he often has since Russia began its invasion in Ukraine in February, that he will stay with his people while they are fighting for freedom.

"We are ready to fight for it (freedom). That's why each of us is here. I'm here. We are here. You are here. Everyone is here. We are all Ukraine," Zelenskiy said.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, calling it a "special operation" to "denazify" and demilitarise Ukraine, which he said was a threat to Russia. Kyiv and its Western allies say Putin's invasion was merely an imperialist land grab.

Putin used his own New Year's address to rally the Russian people behind troops fighting in Ukraine.

While Moscow had planned a swift operation to take over its neighbour, the war is now in its 11th month, marked by many embarrassing Russian battlefield setbacks and Ukraine's successful defence of most of its land.