Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered a brief ceasefire in Ukraine on Orthodox Christmas, celebrated this week by both countries.
The announcement came after Patriarch Kirill, a 76-year-old Russian Orthodox leader, called for a ceasefire during religious holidays.
It is the first time that Russia has declared a total ceasefire in Ukraine since the start of the offensive in February last year.
The Kremlin, in a statement, said –
I instruct the defence minister of the Russian Federation to introduce from 12:00 (0900 GMT) on January 6, 2023 until 24:00 (2100 GMT) on January 7, 2023 a ceasefire along the entire line of contact between the sides in Ukraine,
Given the fact that a large number of citizens professing Orthodoxy live in the areas of combat, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and give them the opportunity to attend church services on Christmas Eve, as well as on the Day of the Nativity of Christ,
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pressed Putin to declare a “unilateral” ceasefire in Ukraine on Thursday (05.01.2023).
Ukraine Dismisses Russian Ceasefire Declaration
Ukraine rejected Russia’s ceasefire declaration in connection with Thursday’s Orthodox Christmas. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak on Thursday said –
Russia must leave the occupied territories — only then will it have a ‘temporary truce’. Keep hypocrisy to yourself,
This is a complete propaganda gesture and nothing more,
Russia is trying to find any way to lower the intensity of the fighting and the intensity of the strikes on its logistical centres
There is not the slightest desire to end the war,
There is no need to respond to the obviously manipulative initiatives of the Russian leadership.