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Ukraine to move Christmas Day in symbolic split from Russia

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Ukraine has made a significant symbolic gesture by moving its official Christmas Day state holiday from 7 January to 25 December.

The move is seen as an attempt to distance the country from its historical ties with Russia and align itself more closely with the West. President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the bill into law after it was passed by Ukrainian lawmakers, signaling the country’s ongoing efforts to abandon Russian cultural and religious influences.

The decision comes in the aftermath of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, which further strained the already complex relationship between the two nations. For centuries, Ukraine has struggled against Russian attempts to control its religious and cultural identity, including the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church over Ukrainian churches. However, in 2019, the newly formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was granted independence by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, leading to tensions with the Russian Orthodox Church.

The OCU’s adoption of the Gregorian calendar, in contrast to the Julian calendar used by the Russian Orthodox Church, marks a symbolic shift in religious practices. Many Ukrainian worshippers have been joining the OCU in recent years, and now, a majority of them are expected to celebrate Christmas on 25 December. Nevertheless, millions still follow the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), another established branch with a significant presence in the country.

Ukraine’s decision to move Christmas is just one of many measures taken to assert its independence from Russia. The country has renamed streets associated with Russian and Soviet historical figures, removed monuments, and banned Russian films produced after 2014. These actions reflect the ongoing tensions and the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The move to celebrate Christmas on 25 December signifies Ukraine’s desire to carve out its unique identity and distance itself from Russia’s influence. By aligning with the Western calendar and adopting a more independent religious and cultural stance, Ukraine aims to assert its sovereignty and strengthen its ties with the international community.

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It takes a village: coordinated financial teams prove paramount to maximising wealth

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The pursuit of wealth is often faced by significant challenges including debt, lifestyle costs, and burnout – so what methods can help overcome these challenges?

Maximising financial opportunities involves a suite of tasks, from leveraging favourable loan rates, strategic tax planning, and coordinated financial advising.

Mark Wyld from MW Wealth joins to discuss more. #featured

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Microsoft recalls ‘Recall AI’ feature over security fears

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Microsoft has announced a postponement in the release of its new Recall AI feature, citing significant security concerns raised during internal testing.

Pope Francis took charge of discussions on the implications of artificial intelligence for global ethics and governance, Reuters reports.

The pope said AI represented an “epochal transformation” for mankind, but stressed the need for close oversight of the ever-developing technology to preserve human life and dignity.

“No machine should ever choose to take the life of a human being,” he said, adding that people should not let superpowerful algorithms decide their destiny.
“We would condemn humanity to a future without hope if we took away people’s ability to make decisions about themselves and their lives, by dooming them to depend on the choices of machines,” he warned.

#featured #trending

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