The year 2023 is coming to an end, the second year of Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine, which has become another stage of the eternal Russian-Ukrainian war.

During the year, Kyiv Post covered the course of this war, wrote about events, facts, people, and explained various phenomena that occurred in Ukraine and beyond during this stormy time.

This is dedicated to those who surprised Kyiv Post the most. We in no way claim to rank or rate anyone. It’s more about collective images that define our Ukrainian face which becomes more recognizable everywhere. Therefore, let those whom we don’t happen to remember not take offense at us in any way.

In fact, after Feb. 24, 2022, all of Ukraine has surprised, is surprising, and will surprise the whole world more than once, because Ukrainians finally proved to everyone that they exist.

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They are a powerful community of free people who wouldn’t trade freedom for anything and are ready to protect all of Europe, the entire Euro-Atlantic civilization from the monster from the East.

The Ukrainian Warrior – is a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Since the beginning of the full-scale aggression in 2022, the Ukrainian soldier has become the personification of courage, devotion, and heroism. And this image has not changed at all over the past year.

Whether it was Oleksandr Matsievskyi, who died with the words “Glory to Ukraine!” or an ordinary soldier whose name did not get into the media, is not the point.

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“The latest air raid alert in Kyiv was a UAV threat. Over the past two weeks, this is at least the fifth actual attempt by the enemy to attack the capital using drones,” says Kyiv military official.

The Ukrainian soldier is fighting the Russian military, and even though his salary has been reduced, he sometimes lacks training and ammunition, the enemy has a total advantage in the air, and prevails in the number of soldiers, that have already become simply “consumable material” – “cannon fodder” – for the realization of the ideas of the crazy dictator Putin.

Our soldiers protect Ukraine and the whole world every day from a strong, knowledgeable, and dishonest enemy. They don’t read the news and the talk of experts about the “unsuccessful counteroffensive,” about “mobilization,” they do not have time to “get tired of the war,” although physically they are often actually on the edge.

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Every day they do their job – destroy the enemy. And with their work, they surprise, first of all, the Russian army.

And we, those in the rear, should not lose touch with reality and not “get used to” the fact that our soldiers are successfully fighting the “second army of the world.”

No, it’s not commonplace, this is a real achievement. We must remember that fact, and not forget about those heroes who gave their lives for us. We should not stop being surprised by the Ukrainian Warrior.

The Ukrainian diplomat is a Knight of Intrigue

This year, Ukrainian diplomats received a huge number of tasks, most of which they successfully coped with. Thanks to Ukrainian diplomats, Ukraine continues to be formed as a full-fledged and important player in international relations. Ukraine’s subjectivity is no longer disputed and is gradually being filled with concrete content.

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The Ukrainian diplomat is a hero whose true exploits will be told by historians someday, or in his memoirs. Only they know how much effort was put into making a reality the decision to start negotiations on our country’s membership in the European Union in 2023. And this is, in fact, an event, the scale and meaning of which we will all be able to appreciate only with time.

However, Ukrainian diplomacy has done many more things, the importance of which is not obvious to most of us today. Except, of course, the strengthening of air defenses, which we all, those who are in the rear, feel it ourselves.

Among the main successes of the collective Ukrainian diplomat can be highlighted the promotion of the implementation of the Ukrainian “peace formula,” further rapprochement with NATO, and the development of a new architecture of security guarantees within the framework of the G7 Vilnius Declaration.

Another very important result of the work of Ukrainian diplomats was the expansion of Ukraine’s presence in Africa, and the strengthening of cooperation with the countries of the Global South, which have already actively joined the work on the Ukrainian peace formula.

So, let’s not forget: the fight against the aggressor is not only combat clashes on the front line, it is also daily work behind the scenes, in offices, and, yes, yes (!!!), at various diplomatic events, with a glass of champagne instead of a machine gun. The results of this work are/will be felt by all of us, and it is worth knowing about it.

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A Ukrainian volunteer – the one who will do everything…

... And get this off the ground. Why did volunteers surprise us this year? – you may ask. Quantity and quality – we reply.

This year, Ukraine became the second in the World Giving Index, compiled by the international organization Charities Aid Foundation. According to the study, 78 percent of adult Ukrainians help strangers, 70 percent donate money, and 37 percent volunteer. That is, almost 40 percent of the adult population of Ukraine spends their free time helping the military and other people for free.

Modern Ukrainian volunteers are both grandmothers who weave camouflage netting near the entrances of the houses and not only monitor the “morale record,” but also work to preserve the lives of our defenders, and the heroes of memes about “underpants, brigade number, number, size, and direction where these underpants must be sent.”

If we generalize this image and speak seriously – the Ukrainian volunteer today is a tired person who overcomes various obstacles: financial, logistical, and bureaucratic to support the troops and others who need help.

A Ukrainian volunteer clearly understands that saving Ukraine is our common cause and only our responsibility. They don’t just act locally, they organizes themselves into various organizations, and charitable foundations, and don’t allow themselves to lose faith, which is threatened by various stories about “volunteers who left and did not return.” And they do those things that have surprised, are surprising, and will continue to be surprising for a long time.

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All these heroes, whom we are talking about above, became archetypes of the community, which we now call simply – citizens of Ukraine. Exactly! Citizens of Ukraine who speak Ukrainian, Russian, Crimean Tatar, Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, other languages, even English (!), different dialects – they surprised not only the Kyiv Post team – they continue to surprise the whole world! And we will surprise that world more than once! Because Ukrainians, Ukraine is the melting pot of Europe, in which evil from the East will simply melt away.

And Kyiv Post is honored to tell the whole world about this.

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