War in Ukraine: Russia’s controversial ceasefire is set to begin this Friday

He called on Ukrainian forces to respect the fighting, allowing Orthodox, the majority confession in Ukraine, the same as in Russia, to “attend services on Christmas Eve and the day of Christ’s birth.”

His Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, slammed the announcement, saying it was only “an apology intended to at least halt the advance of our troops in Donbass and bring equipment, ammunition and people closer to our positions.” “What will be the result? No more death,” he said.

On the other hand, Mr. Zelensky praised the “very important decision” of the United States and Germany, which promised to provide infantry armored vehicles of the Bradley type on the American side and the Marder model on the German side. , after France announced to send light tanks.

Berlin has pledged to provide a Patriot air defense battery, as Washington has already done.

“give me some air”

The cease-fire ordered by Moscow is the first general ceasefire since the start of the conflict, with only local agreements concluded so far, such as the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal factory in Mariupol (south-east) in April.

“Russia must leave the occupied territories, only then will there be a temporary ceasefire. Keep your hypocrisy,” Myhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, responded on Twitter.

For the US president, Vladimir Putin is trying to “give himself some air”. He mocked Joe Biden, saying he was “ready to bomb hospitals, nurseries and churches (…) on December 25th and New Year’s Day.”

The cease-fire would “do nothing to advance the prospects of peace,” British Foreign Secretary James replied astutely, calling for a permanent withdrawal of Russian troops. Such a cease-fire would not bring “freedom or security” to Ukraine, German diplomacy is full of.

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In his telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin, Mr. Erdogan proposed a “unilateral ceasefire” intended to support “appeals for peace and negotiations between Moscow and Kiev”.

Vladimir Putin argued that Russia is ready for a “serious dialogue” with Ukraine, provided the latter complies with Russian demands and accepts the “new regional realities” born of the country’s invasion in February.

In September, Moscow annexed four regions in Ukraine that were at least partially occupied by its military, modeled on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in March 2014, despite several military setbacks on the ground.

Volodymyr Zelensky insists on a total withdrawal of Russian forces from his country, including Crimea, before any talks with Moscow. Otherwise, he promises to take back the occupied territories by force.

Mr. During his discussions with Erdogan, Mr. Putin accused the West of “feeding the Kiev regime with weapons and military equipment, providing operational and targeting information.”

Civilians were killed

The Russian ceasefire comes less than a week after a Ukrainian strike on New Year’s Day killed at least 89 people in Makhivka, eastern Ukraine. A particularly deadly bombing that the Russian military had to acknowledge, a rare fact, raised criticism in Russia against the military command.

On the front in Ukraine, bombings continued on Thursday, particularly in the south, where a woman and her 12-year-old son were killed in a Russian bombardment in Perysla, near Kherson, the deputy head of the administration said. Kyrillo Tymoshenko.

Governor Oleksandr Staruk said two people were killed and three others wounded in a strike in a village in the southern region of Zaporizhia.

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Residents of the eastern town of Chassiv Iar told AFP a Russian missile hit a building before dawn on Thursday, injuring a man and a woman.

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