MOSCOW: After 316 days of intense fighting and severe loss of lives, Russia has announced to a ceasefire for the next 36 hours. As per reports, Vladimir Putin has instructed his defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, to introduce a 36-hour ceasefire along the entire line of contact in Ukraine from Friday noon to midnight 7 January. This will be the first pause ever since the Kremlin began its so-called military operations.
The order published on the Kremlins’ website read- “I instruct the defense 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,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
“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,” the statement continued.
Ukraine however has dismissed the declaration as’hypocricy’ to yourself. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said. Russia “must leave the occupied territories — only then will it have a ‘temporary truce’. Keep hypocrisy to yourself,” Podolyak wrote on Twitter in reaction to the Kremlin announcement.
“This is a complete propaganda gesture and nothing more,” Podolyak said in a separate statement.
It is worth noting that, Ukraine until this year, never celebrated Christmas in December. However, due to Russia’s invasion, many people’s opinions have changed. In October, the leadership of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which is independent of the Russian church and one of two branches of Orthodox Christianity in the country, agreed to allow people to celebrate on December 25th.
Earlier in the day, Putin’s proposed truce was dismissed by Ukraine in which the Kremlin demanded that Kyiv must accept territories occupied by Moscow as Russian.
“Putin again confirmed Russia’s openness to serious dialogue on the condition of Kyiv authorities fulfilling the well-known and repeatedly voiced requirements of taking into account the new territorial realities,” the Kremlin said in a statement.