Putin Orders ‘Temporary’ Ceasefire In Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the country’s Defence Minister to order a ceasefire in Ukraine over Orthodox Christmas.

The ceasefire will kick in for 36 hours starting at noon on January 6.

Orthodox Christmas is traditionally celebrated by many on January 6 and 7.

According to the Kremlin’s press service, Putin made the announcement in response to an earlier call by Russian Patriarch Kirill for guns to go silent over the Orthodox holiday.

“Due to the fact that a large number of citizens of the Orthodox faith live in several areas of the conflict zone, we call on the Ukrainian side to observe a ceasefire and allow them to visit Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services,” said a statement posted to the Kremlin website. 

Patriarch Kirill has been an avid supporter of the Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine — including telling Russian soldiers that dying for the cause would “wash away all sins.”

Earlier on Thursday, in a call with Putin, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked the Russian leader to implement a unilateral cease-fire to support efforts to end the war.

In response, Putin repeated Russian demands that Ukraine accepts Moscow’s recent annexation of four regions of Ukraine before serious peace negotiations could begin.

The annexation moves have been widely condemned as illegal, and Russian forces have failed to maintain control over the territories.

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