Putin’s order of ceasefire in Ukraine
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a 36-hour ceasefire in Ukraine to run over Orthodox Christmas, a decision that war-battered Kyiv promptly condemned as “hypocrisy”.
Putin’s order to his soldiers came only days after Moscow suffered its worst known loss of the invasion and after 11 months of hard warfare.
Both countries celebrate Orthodox Christmas, and Putin’s directive came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s spiritual leader, Patriarch Kirill, a key Putin supporter, advocated a ceasefire.
According to a Kremlin statement, “I urge the Russian Federation’s defense minister to impose… a ceasefire along the whole line of contact between the factions in Ukraine, taking into consideration the plea of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.”
The Kremlin said that it will take place from noon (0900 GMT) on January 6 till 24:00 (2100 GMT) on January 7.
Kyiv denounced the news as “hypocritical,” and slammed it.
Only once Russia leaves the seized areas will there be a “temporary ceasefire.” Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential advisor for Ukraine, said as much on Twitter.
After 11 months of conflict, Russia has taken over portions of eastern and southern Ukraine, but Kyiv has returned large portions of its territory and this week claimed a New Year’s attack that killed several Russian soldiers.
According to Erdogan’s administration, during a phone call with Putin earlier on Thursday, Putin was persuaded to proclaim a “unilateral” ceasefire with Erdogan, who has strong relations with Moscow.
Putin reportedly told Erdogan he was amenable to talking if Kyiv recognized the “new territorial realities” in the region, according to the Kremlin.
Russia annexed the Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson areas despite not completely controlling them after ballots that were denounced as farces internationally.