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Vladimir Putin orders 36-hour ceasefire over Orthodox Christmas

Vladimir Putin orders 36-hour ceasefire over Orthodox Christmas

Vladimir Putin orders 36-hour ceasefire over Orthodox Christmas

‘We are again being threatened by German Leopard tanks:’ Putin

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  • Vladimir Putin orders his defense minister to establish a 36-hour ceasefire.
  • The cease-fire will begin at 12:00 Moscow time (09:00 GMT) .
  • Patriarch Kirill of Moscow had earlier asked for a Christmas truce.
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Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has instructed his defense minister to establish a 36-hour ceasefire on the frontlines in Ukraine starting on Friday.

Beginning at 12:00 Moscow time (09:00 GMT), the cease-fire will fall on the Russian Orthodox Christmas.

Mr. Putin requested that Ukraine do the same, but Kiev promptly rejected the demand.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said: “Keep hypocrisy to yourself.”

According to the Kremlin statement, President Putin ordered his troops to cease fire not because he was de-escalating the situation (Putin never does), but rather because he had heeded a plea from the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Earlier in the day, Patriarch Kirill had requested a Christmas truce so that Christians might attend church services for the Orthodox Christmas.

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According to the Julian calendar, Christmas Day is observed by the Russian Orthodox Church on January 7.

According to a statement from the Kremlin, “Taking into consideration [Kirill’s] appeal, the president now authorizes the Russian Federation’s minister of defense to enforce a ceasefire regime along the whole line of contact in Ukraine” for the duration of the 36-hour period.

Mr Putin’s order called on Ukraine to reciprocate so that the “large numbers of Orthodox believers [who] reside in areas where hostilities are taking place” could celebrate Christmas Eve on Friday and Christmas Day on Saturday.

In a statement on Twitter soon after, Mr Podolyak said there could be no “temporary truce” until Russian forces withdrew from all the areas they had occupied.

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