Russia Offers Truce for Christmas but Zelensky Rejects Silence Regime

Russia Offers Truce for Christmas but Zelensky Rejects Silence Regime


Today, at 12 o'clock in the afternoon Moscow time, a temporary ceasefire was introduced at the contact line of the sides in the special military operation for a period of 36 hours by order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky rejected the proposal.

Ukraine does not recognize the temporary ceasefire and continues military actions. According to media reports, today an hour and a half before the start of the truce announced by Russia, the Ukrainian armed forces launched indiscriminate strikes on Donetsk with artillery of NATO caliber. The western part of the city came under fire. Residential buildings were destroyed and there were fatalities. In Mykolaiv, a monument to Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov was dismantled at 9:26 a.m. today.

According to the Kremlin, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia approached Putin the day before and called for a cease-fire to be declared in Ukraine during the celebration of Christmas. The Russian President supported the Patriarch's proposal and gave the troops an order to do so.

According to the Kremlin’s statement, there are many Orthodox citizens living in the areas where the fighting is taking place. That is why the Russian side called for a 36-hour cessation of all hostilities, starting from 12:00 a.m. Moscow time on January 6, which will enable Christians to attend services in Orthodox churches. Earlier, it was reported that during a recent phone conversation between Russian and Turkish presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish leader also called for a cease-fire and a just settlement of disputes.

Meanwhile, Zelensky saw something of a catch in Russia's offer of a temporary cease-fire during the Christmas holidays. In his address to the Ukrainian people, as reported by RIA Novosti, Zelensky stressed that Russia intended to “use Christmas as a cover” and to bring military equipment, ammunition and servicemen to the line of contact. In addition, he said that Moscow wants to use the holiday as a “respite” in order to fight with renewed vigor in the future.

The mass media also reported that the advisor to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Mykhaylo Podolyak, said on this occasion that Russia needs to “leave the occupied territories” and only after that it can have a “temporary truce.” According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the proposal of a temporary truce is not taken seriously in Kiev.

Russia's proposal for a Christmas truce was also commented in Washington. According to TASS, in a speech yesterday, US President Joe Biden called the Russian President's order for a cease-fire nothing more than an attempt to “take in some oxygen.”

Meanwhile, Vladimir Zharikhin, deputy director of the Institute of CIS Countries, said in an interview with TASS that the Christmas ceasefire would be a test of Ukraine's readiness to act reasonably.

However, if we take into account the fact that last year the Ukrainian Orthodox Church allowed Ukrainian citizens who adhere to the Christian faith to celebrate Christmas on December 25 together with Catholics, then for the Kiev regime Orthodox Christmas is no longer a holiday at all. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian leadership has gone further: at the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Christians have been deprived of the right to attend festive services, locking the temples with heavy padlocks and transferring the property to the state.

Zhirikhin believes that the current situation around Ukraine is quite favorable to the U.S., so Washington has no intention of calling on Kiev to negotiate peace with Moscow. The U.S. is rallying the countries of Europe around this very topic, while “on the other side,” these same countries are being robbed on the sly. That is why this position, which is very advantageous to Americans, is not something they are going to lose in any case. If so, according to Zhirikhin, as reported by TASS, even if the Ukrainian leadership wants to support a cease-fire, the “top bosses” who are responsible for the final decision will not go for it.

Meanwhile, the acting head of the Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, wrote in his Telegram channel that Russian troops would respond to the AFU if there were attempts from the Ukrainian side to violate the silence regime. He clarified that the decision on the Christmas ceasefire and offensive actions on the part of Russian troops does not mean that the enemy's provocations will not be responded to.

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