Russia-Ukraine: Putin establishes a 36-hour ceasefire for Orthodox Christmas

The proposal had arrived this morning from the Russian patriarch Kirill

russia ukraine putin zelensky

The Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the defense minister Sergei Shoigu to establish a ceasefire in Ukraine from 12:00 on January 6 to 24:00 on January 7. This is what emerges from the note from the Kremlin's press office. “Considering that a large number of citizens professing Orthodoxy live in the combat areas, we urge the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and allow them to attend services on Christmas Eve, as well as on Christmas Day,” it read in the statement.

This morning the Russian Patriarch Kirill he had proposed establishing a ceasefire. “I, Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, appeal to all parties involved in the internecine conflict with a call to cease fire and establish a Christmas truce from 12 noon on January 6 to midnight on January 24, so that the Orthodox may attend services on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day,” the note reads.

During the morning the Russian president Vladimir Putin had had a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to what was announced by the Kremlin, the issues of the international agenda, namely the situation in Ukraine and Syria, had been at the center of the talks. In particular, with regard to Ukraine, the Russian side "highlighted the destructive role of Western countries, which supply the Kiev regime with weapons and military equipment, as well as communicate operational information". Commenting on Erdogan's suggestion to resort to Turkish mediation to resolve the conflict, Putin reiterated that Russia "is open to serious dialogue, provided that the Kiev authorities fulfill known and repeatedly expressed requirements and contain the new territorial entities“. In addition, the presidents discussed the prospects for resolving the conflict in Syria, evaluating positively the meeting of defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Syria, held last December. “It is hoped that the development of contacts in a tripartite format will help to significantly improve the situation in the republic of Syria, including the restoration of its territorial integrity, the resolution of the refugee problem and the tasks of combating international terrorist structures,” the statement reads. communicated.

Also in the morning, the Ukrainian presidential adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, he had defined the proposal of the Russian patriarch “a cynical trap”. For Podolyak the Russian Orthodox Church "is not an authority for global orthodoxy and acts as a war propagandist". The patriarchate of Moscow, added the adviser, "had previously incited the genocide of the Ukrainians, the massacre and militarization of Russia". "Thus, the statement of the Russian Orthodox Church on the 'Christmas truce' is a cynical trap and an element of propaganda."

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