Moscow’s one-sided ceasefire on the front lines appeared to fail just hours after going into effect as Ukrainian and Russian troops claimed continued assault from the opposing side, according to media reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a unilateral 36 hour ceasefire “along the entire line of contact” in observance of Orthodox Christmas beginning noon Moscow time on Friday, although Kyiv rejected the proposal as a sham, according to Reuters. While the outlet could not confirm whether fighting continued across all locations, Russian troops claimed they came under fire in cities along the front line, while local Ukrainian forces likewise reported continued Russian attacks.
“Four mortar shells were fired at Russian positions by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the direction of Lyman,” a city in the occupied Donetsk region, Russia’s defense ministry said, according to Reuters. (RELATED: ‘Zone Of Destruction’: Ukraine Rocket Kills Dozens Of Russian Troops, The Deadliest Strike In Months)
Kyiv rejected Russia’s proposal for a temporary truce on Thursday, vowing to continue attacking Russian positions, Reuters reported.
“Now they want to use Christmas as a cover to stop the advance of our guys in the Donbas for a while and bring equipment, ammunition and mobilized people closer to our positions,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, according to The Associated Press. “What will it give? Just another increase in the count of losses.”
Ukraine’s western allies also pegged Putin’s proposal as a ploy to offer his beleaguered troops some breathing room, giving them time to resupply and recoup, according to Reuters.
First. Ukraine doesn’t attack foreign territory & doesn’t kill civilians. As RF does. Ukraine destroys only members of the occupation army on its territory…
Second. RF must leave the occupied territories – only then will it have a “temporary truce”. Keep hypocrisy to yourself.
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) January 5, 2023
In the hours leading up to the ceasefire’s implementation, Russia fired on residential infrastructure in Kramatorsk, a city near the eastern front line, according to Reuters. Russia’s proxy leaders in the Donbas also reportedly accused Ukraine of lobbing artillery fire on the capital in Donetsk.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian media reported that Russia continued attacking cities in the southern Kherson region, while fighters in Bakhmut, near the front, endured Russian offensives, according to The Kyiv Independent.
Shelling was heard from both Russian and Ukrainian positions in Bakhmut after the ceasefire came into effect, AFP reported. The Ukrainian presidency also said Russia struck Kramatorsk, according to the outlet.
Update from Bakhmut 6 January. pic.twitter.com/Sq6WvQUFXO
— Dmitri (@wartranslated) January 6, 2023
Russia’s defense ministry maintained Friday its troops refrained from firing on Ukraine in observance of the truce, although Ukrainian forces continued attacking, according to Meduza.
“In accordance with the Russian president’s instructions and the defense minister’s directive, a ceasefire has been declared among the joint grouping of Russian forces in the special military operation zone from noon on January 6 until midnight on January 7 along the entire contact line in Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement, according to a translation.
The Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministries did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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