Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has instructed his defence minister to establish a 36-hour ceasefire on the frontlines in Ukraine starting on Friday. The start of the cease-fire, which is set for 12:00 Moscow time, will fall on the Russian Orthodox Christmas. Putin requested that Ukraine do the same, but Kyiv rejected the demand right away.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential advisor for Ukraine, said: “Keep hypocrisy to yourself.” Following an appeal from Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, on Thursday morning, Mr. Putin issued his directive. Kirill pleaded with “all the parties concerned” to put an end to the fighting and declare a Christmas truce.
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.
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