Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has rejected a Russian order for an Orthodox Christmas truce, Saying it was a ploy to stop the advance of Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbass region and bring in more of its forces. Speaking in Russian and addressing both the Kremlin and Russians as a whole on Thursday, Zelensky said Moscow had repeatedly ignored Kyiv’s peace plan.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has instructed his Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, to introduce a 36-hour ceasefire along the entire line of contact in Ukraine. From noon on Friday until midnight on January 7, the Kremlin said. Putin said that Russian forces must stop firing for 36 hours to allow people “in combat zones” to celebrate Orthodox Christmas.
Zelensky said the war would end when Russian forces left Ukraine or were expelled. “Now they want to use Christmas as a cover, albeit for a short time, to stop the advance of our boys in the Donbass and bring equipment, ammunition and mobilized forces close to our positions,” the Ukrainian leader said in his nightly video address. “What would that give them? Just another increase in their total losses.” He said the war “will end either when your soldiers leave or we expel them.”
The US State Department expressed doubts about Putin’s ceasefire announcementHe called it “cynical” in light of Moscow’s New Year’s Day attack on Ukraine, saying the US had “not much confidence” in the intentions of the declaration.
Putin’s announcement came hours after the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, announced He called for a cease-fire The Christmas truce in Ukraine. in DeclarationKirill said he appealed to “all parties involved in the internal conflict” for a cease-fire, so that “the Orthodox can attend services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day”.
Germany will join the United States in providing Ukraine with an additional Patriot air defense battery, The White House announced, after the German Chancellor, Olaf Schultz, and the US President, Joe Biden, spoke on the phone. The two leaders expressed their “shared determination to continue to provide necessary financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support to Ukraine for as long as possible,” according to the White House. he said in a statement.
The United States believes that Vladimir Putin’s ally Yevgeny Prigozhin is interested in taking control of salt and gypsum from mines near the Ukrainian-controlled city of Bakhmut, A White House official said Thursday. The official added that there are indications that monetary motives were behind Russia’s and Prigozhin’s “obsession” with Bakhmut. Prigozhin is the owner of the Russian private military company Wagner Group.
Germany’s economics minister, Robert Habeck, said that Germany was supplying weapons to Ukraine It was a ‘good decision’ during a briefing on Thursday. Arms exports must be approved by the Hapic department.
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