Vladimir Putin Calls For Temporary Ceasefire In Ukraine


Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a temporary ceasefire in Ukraine on Thursday for the duration of Christmas celebrations in both countries, which occur Jan. 6 and 7, according to Russian state media.

Putin instructed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to introduce a ceasefire in Ukraine from noon on Jan. 6 to midnight Jan. 7, Russian state media RIA Novosti reported Thursday. Calls have grown from inside and outside Russia for the Kremlin to call a ceasefire, most notably from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“Given the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation to introduce a ceasefire regime along the entire line of contact between the parties in Ukraine from 12:00 on January 6 to 24:00 on January 7,” the statement from Putin reportedly reads.

The Kremlin called on Ukrainian forces to heed its call as well to allow Orthodox practitioners in and around combat zones in Ukraine to participate in Christmas festivities.

Orthodox Christians in Russia and Ukraine celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7, the day of Christ’s birth according to the Julian Calendar. (RELATED: Hundreds Of Soldiers Hit By Rocket Because Of Unauthorized Cellphone Use, Russia Says)

While Kirill’s call was an appeal to protect Christians trying to attend religious services on Christmas Eve and Day, Erdogan’s was for the purpose of peacemaking. The Turkish president said Thursday that he told Putin in a phone call that progress toward peace would be aided by a “unilateral ceasefire” and a “vision for a fair solution.”

Ukraine seemingly has no intention of agreeing to a ceasefire. Kyiv blasted Putin’s order as “hypocrisy” and presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted that Russia must “leave the occupied territories — only then will it have a ‘temporary truce’.” Some analysts have speculated that the ceasefire would provide Russia’s forces an opportunity to reinforce and resupply.