Ukraine will fight for victory, Zelensky promises

Farewell to 2022: Eight billion Earthlings began on Saturday to bid farewell to an eventful year between the war in Ukraine, inflation and Lionel Messi’s world coronation, before fully entering 2023.

For many, New Year’s Day will be an opportunity to banish memories of Covid, as the virus fades away from people’s minds.

Loosen his wallet too and set aside months of sobriety forced by pandemic and inflationary records.

In Australia, Sydney is one of the first major cities to ring the bell in 2023, reclaiming the title of “New Year’s Eve Capital of the World” after two years of closures and festivities hampered by the Omicron anomaly.

A million people in Sydney

Australian borders reopened, and more than a million people launched more than 100,000 pyrotechnic devices into Sydney Harbour.

In the afternoon, hundreds of people occupied the best spots to watch the show. “It’s been a good year for us, it’s great that Covid is out,” commented David Hough-Patterson, 52, who was installed in front of the Sydney Opera House.

“If we get everyone on board and approach the coming year with renewed confidence and joy, we will succeed,” said fireworks organizer Fortunato Foti.

One thing that contrasts the feeling left behind in 2022 is the disappearance of Queen Elizabeth II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jiang Zemin and Shinzo Abe.

“The Great Resignation”

In the final days of 2022, two popes left with very different records: Thursday’s soccer, Brazilian Pele (82 years old), and Saturday’s former head of the Catholic Church, Benedict XVI (95 years old).

Global warming has not reversed, and neither has global population growth: November passed the milestone of eight billion people.

The phenomenon of employees walking away from their jobs after a pandemic, a slap in the face at the Oscars and the “Great Resignation” that swept through the cryptocurrency crash, along with the demise of billionaires, also sounded this year.

But above all, it will always be associated with the return of war to Europe with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Over 300 days, nearly 7,000 civilians have been killed and 10,000 injured, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Sixteen million Ukrainians have fled their homes. For those who remain, daily life is halted by power outages, Russian bombings and curfews.

The latest Russian strikes on Saturday targeted several parts of the country, leaving at least one person dead and several others injured in Kyiv.

While some mark the New Year with silent candlelight prayers, others plan to throw a dinner party as a show of collective resolution.

Yaroslav Mutenko, a 23-year-old filmmaker, promises that the shell that hit the four-star Alfavito Hotel near his apartment in Kiev won’t stop him from going to a party at a friend’s house.

“Our enemies, the Russians, can test our peace, but they cannot destroy our spirit,” he said.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is in no mood for fun. Moscow has canceled its traditional fireworks display after the city’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, asked residents how they wanted to mark the start of the new year.

“Zero Covid”

“A calm sky above our heads” is the only desire of Muscovites like 51-year-old childcare worker Irina Shapovalova.

National broadcaster VGTRK promised a “New Year’s Eve atmosphere despite changes in the country and the world”.

“Moral and historical correctness is on our side,” Putin assured in his will. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “We are sure that we will win this war.”

In London, the traditional New Year’s fireworks display for the first time since the pandemic is expected to bring together around 100,000 spectators with tickets to the show.

In Vienna, 1,850 guests were preparing to attend the Philharmonic Orchestra’s traditional New Year’s Day concert in the Musikver’s Golden Hall.

In Asia, Covid has resurfaced in China, while a vaccine is allowing the rest of the world to regain some semblance of normal life.

Beijing abruptly abandoned its “zero Covid” policy earlier in the month, an immediate reversal followed by an explosion in the number of infections. Hospitals may be overflowing, as are crematoriums, but rallies are planned everywhere for the 2023 transition.

However, President Xi Jinping wanted to issue an optimistic note in the hours since the New Year: “The light of hope is before us”.

New year, new president. In Brazil, the first of January will mark the return of former president Lula to power.

This article was published automatically. Sources: ats / afp

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