Putin orders a temporary ceasefire in Ukraine to celebrate Orthodox Christmas

Russian President Vladimir Putin On Thursday, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called for a ceasefire to be ordered in Ukraine in celebration of Orthodox Christmas.

Looking at the plea of ​​His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct defense minister “The Russian Federation will implement a ceasefire regime along the entire line of contact between the parties in Ukraine from 12:00 on January 6 until 24:00 on January 7,” said a statement from the Kremlin chief, according to the Russian Information Agency (RIA).

According to Putin, the Russian Orthodox bishop called for a Christmas truce so that the Orthodox could attend services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky He has not yet commented publicly on Putin’s order, but an advisor from his office called cease-fire calls from the Russian Orthodox Church earlier in the day a “cynical trap.”

“[The] “The ROC is not an authority for world Orthodoxy and acts as ‘war propaganda,’” Mykhailo Podolyak said according to the state-owned Ukrainian News Agency. “The ROC has advocated the genocide of Ukrainians, incited mass murder and insisted on further militarization. [the Russian Federation].

“Hence, the statement of the Republic of China regarding the ‘Christmas truce’ is a cynical trap and an element of propaganda,” the statement added.

In a phone call with Putin earlier in the day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan endorsed the bishop’s remarks and urged the Russian president to implement a “unilateral ceasefire” and find a “vision of a fair solution”.

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The ceasefire order is the first Putin has called since the war began and comes just two days after Zelensky warned Russia was preparing a major offensive in an effort to “turn the tide” in the war.

Ukrainian soldiers fire the Pion artillery system at Russian positions near Pakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Friday, December 16, 2022.
(AP Photo/LIBKOS)

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Zelensky said Russia would They “threw everything they had” at Ukrainian forces fighting to expel Russian forces from five Ukrainian regions.

In addition, Putin ordered in December Defense officials to fix his war effort By bolstering troops with the supplies and equipment they need on the front lines, bolstering missile stockpiles, and making Russia’s “nuclear triad” combat-ready.

Rebecca Koffler, a Russia expert and former CIA intelligence officer on Russian Doctrine and Strategy, echoed comments made Thursday by Zelensky’s office and said the matter was a “set-up.”

A Ukrainian soldier rests at his post in Pakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Saturday, December 17, 2022.

A Ukrainian soldier rests at his post in Pakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Saturday, December 17, 2022.
(AP Photo/LIBKOS)

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“Putin knows the Ukrainians will be skeptical of the cease-fire and will continue operations,” she told Fox News Digital, noting that Russian forces would do the same. “Once the Ukrainians refuse to cease fire, the Russians will paint them as atheists.

“It’s a classic Putin checkmate — Zelensky loses either way,” she explained.

Check back for this developing story.

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