Putin ordered a truce in connection with the Orthodox Christmas. Ukraine refuses news. Last Minute EUROPE, CURRENT, Russian news and events
Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Russian Defense Ministry to conclude a ceasefire on the territory of Ukraine on Christmas Eve and Orthodox Christmas. Ukraine, on the other hand, rejected Putin’s offer and said there would be no ceasefire until Russia withdraws its troops from the occupied territories.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, called on both sides of the war in Ukraine for a ceasefire on Christmas Day on Thursday.
According to the Kremlin statement, Putin said: “Given the call of His Eminence Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation to introduce a ceasefire regime along the entire line of contact in Ukraine from 12:00 00:00 on January 6, 2023 to 24:00 on January 7, 2023 “, the message says.
“Given the fact that a large number of citizens of the Orthodox faith live in the conflict zones, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and allow them to attend services both on Christmas and on Christmas Eve,” Putin said.
Ukraine’s sharp reaction
However, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak shared a tweet saying that Russia “must leave the occupied territories, only then there will be a ‘temporary ceasefire'” and said: “Keep the hypocrisy to yourself.”
Podolyak said that, unlike Russia, Ukraine did not attack foreign lands and did not kill civilians, but simply destroyed “members of the occupying army on its territory.”
Earlier, Kyiv rejected Kirill’s proposal for a ceasefire as “a cynical trap and an element of propaganda.”
Presidential adviser Podolyak described the occupation-supporting Russian Orthodox Church as a “military propagandist” facilitating the “massacres” of Ukrainians and the militarization of Russia.
Previously, Ukraine viewed the possibility of calling Russia for a ceasefire as an attempt by Moscow to give its troops a breather.
It was planned that the ceasefire would last a total of 36 hours. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7th.
On the other hand, Ukraine’s main Orthodox Church has rejected the authority of the Moscow Patriarch, and many Ukrainians have changed their calendar to celebrate Christmas on December 25, as in the West.
On the one hand, Kyiv is trying to push back the invading Russian soldiers to the east of the country. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the West to send heavy tanks.
The Ukrainian army said that Russian troops were preparing for an offensive in the Bakhmutsky district of Donetsk, but to no avail in the Avdeevsky and Kupyansky districts.
The governor of neighboring Lugansk said Ukrainian forces are reclaiming lost territory step by step, but not quickly.
Lugansk and Donetsk, which are part of the Donbass, are the industrial centers of Ukraine. Parts of this region were occupied by Russian puppets in the region in 2014.
Russia declared Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia its territory in September after a referendum. Ukraine and Western countries have condemned these referendums. Russia does not have full control over any of these four regions.
The announcement of victory in the devastated Bakhmut after months of artillery fire is important for the Russian leadership as a success that will be shown to the public after the recent setback in the war.
Bakhmut, located on the supply line between Donetsk and Lugansk, is an important step towards the capture of two large cities, Kramatorsk and Slovyansk. The population of Bakhmut, which had 70-80 thousand people before the war, after the war was reduced to 10 thousand.
The fighting in the area, which the commanders of both sides described as a “meat grinder”, was of an exceptionally fierce nature.
The Ukrainian army reported that 800 Russian servicemen were killed in battles in Donetsk the day before. Although this indicates a mass loss of life in one day, the Reuters news agency was unable to verify this independently.
The governor of the Lugansk region, Sergei Gaidai, noted that he expects an escalation of clashes on the eastern front. On the other hand, there are frosts as the air temperature in the region gradually decreases.
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