1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Ukraine will fight for 'victory' in New Year, Zelenskyy says

Louis Oelofse
January 1, 2023

The Ukrainian leader delivered a defiant New Year's message, calling 2022 the "year of Ukrainians" and vowing to fight on in 2023.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses Ukrainian people on the New Year eve
Zelenskyy thanked his citizens, saying they are "incredible"Image: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/REUTERS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday predicted victory in the war against Russia in the new year.

"We fight and will continue to fight. For the sake of the main word: 'victory'," he said in an emotional New Year's message.

A curfew was in place as the clock struck midnight in the war-torn country

It comes as a new wave of Russian missiles struck cities across Ukraine on the last day of 2022, with new explosions in Kyiv also shortly after his message was released.

Zelenskyy, however, struck a defiant tone.

"Is there anything that can scare us? No. Is there anyone who can stop us? No. Because we are all together. It is what we are fighting for. One for each other," he said.

Zelenskyy looks inwards

In the address broadcast just before midnight, Zelenskyy thanked soldiers on the front lines but also ordinary citizens who resisted the Russian invasion.

"Each of us is a fighter. Each of us is a front. Each of us is the basis of the defense," he said.

He spent most of his speech focusing on the towns, cities and regions that have witnessed the worst fight since the invasion in February.

Among them was Kherson, the city which Ukraine retook from the Russians in November.

"The face of Kherson is cut by fragments of shells, but the main thing is that we welcome the New Year free and together under blue and yellow flags," Zelenskky said.

He vowed to restore and rebuild the city, "just like Chernihiv and Zaporizhzhia, and Kramatorsk, and Bakhmut."

'Ukraine changed the world'

The Ukrainian leader also had a message for the rest of the world. 

"We were told to surrender. We chose a counterattack! We were told to make concessions and compromises. We are joining the European Union and NATO," he said.

Zelenskyy said Ukrainians were ready to continue the fight in 2023.

"I want to wish all of us one thing, victory. And that's the main thing. One wish for all Ukrainians,"  he said.

Ukraine war — what to expect in 2023

AFP news agency contributed to this report.

Edited by: Wesley Dockery