People in occupied Ukraine town mark Christmas Eve in home after church is shelled

VOLNOVAKHA, Russia-controlled Ukraine (Reuters) - Worshippers in the eastern occupied Ukrainian town of Volnovakha on Friday marked the Russian Orthodox Christmas Eve in a makeshift chapel that was set up in a home after their church suffered shelling damage.

Vera Barda, 74, said the congregation had initially met in a tent after the church was hit during what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine.

"I offered the priest (my place) saying there was a stove and electricity, so it was warmer than in a tent ... he agreed at once and in three weeks we restored everything," she said.

During the service, carried out in a converted cramped room decked out in icons, an Orthodox priest dressed in a ceremonial white robe burned incense while the mainly elderly congregation made the sign of the cross.

(Reporting by Reuters, editing by David Ljunggren and Grant McCool)