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WORLD NEWS | Putin orders Ukraine weekend truce; Kyiv won’t participate

WORLD NEWS | Putin orders Ukraine weekend truce; Kyiv won’t participate

Kyiv, Jan. 6 (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered his armed forces to observe a unilateral 36-hour ceasefire over the Orthodox Christmas holiday in Ukraine this weekend, the first in almost 11 months. The first comprehensive ceasefire operation. old war. Kyiv said it would not follow suit.

Putin did not appear to condition Ukraine’s acceptance of the ceasefire, and it was unclear whether hostilities would actually stop along the 1,100-kilometer (684-mile) front or elsewhere. Ukrainian officials have previously dismissed such Russian moves as buying time to regroup invading forces and prepare for more attacks.

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At various points during the war that began on February 24, Russian authorities have ordered limited partial ceasefires to allow the evacuation of civilians or for other humanitarian purposes. Thursday’s order was the first time Putin directed his troops to abide by a ceasefire throughout Ukraine.

“Based on the fact that a large number of Orthodox citizens live in the war zone, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and give them the opportunity to attend services on Christmas Eve and Jihad Day. The Nativity of Christ,” according to Putin’s defense post on the Kremlin website. Order of Minister Sergei Shoigu.

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Putin’s order did not specify whether it would apply to offensive and defensive operations. For example, it is unclear whether Russia would fight back if Ukraine continued to fight.

Ukrainian officials dismissed Putin’s move.

Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted that Russian troops “must leave the occupied territories – only then can there be a temporary truce.” Be hypocritical to yourself. “

“We will not negotiate any truce with them,” Oleksiy Danilov, head of Ukraine’s National Security Council, told Ukrainian television.

He also tweeted: “What do a bunch of Kremlin imps have to do with Christian Christmas? Who would believe the abomination of killing children, setting fires to asylums, and torturing prisoners? Ceasefire? Lies and hypocrisy. We will Bite you in the singing silence of the Ukrainian night.”

U.S. President Joe Biden said it was “fun” that Putin was preparing to bomb hospitals, nurseries and churches over Christmas and New Years. “I think he was trying to find oxygen,” he said, without elaborating.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington “lacks confidence in the intent behind the statement,” adding that Kremlin officials “have not given us any reason to believe that anything they are offering is at face value.” which provided.”

“This does not appear to be a strategic change in Russian planning or its approach,” he said. Rest, refit, regroup, and eventually re-offensive. “

UN spokesman Stephen Dujarric welcomed the move but said it “will not replace a just peace consistent with the UN Charter and international law.”

Putin, at Russian Orthodox Church leader Kirill, proposed a period from noon Friday to midnight Moscow time (0900 GMT on Friday to 2100 GMT on Saturday; 4 a.m. ET on Friday to Saturday at 3pm) to act after the truce. The Orthodox Church, which uses the Julian calendar, celebrates Christmas on January 7 — later than the Gregorian calendar — although some Ukrainian Christians also celebrate Christmas on this date.

Kirill has previously described the war as part of Russia’s “metaphysical struggle” to prevent the encroachment of Western liberal ideology.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had earlier proposed that Russia withdraw its troops by December 25, but Moscow rebuffed it.

Political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya said Putin’s ceasefire order was designed to make him appear reasonable. This “fits well with Putin’s logic that Russia is on the right side of history and fighting for what is right,” she said.

“We must not forget that in this war, Putin feels like a good man, ‘doing good not only for himself and his fraternal country,’ but for a world he is freeing from U.S. hegemony,” founder Stanovaya ( Stanovaya) said. Independent R.Politik think tank, writes on Telegram.

She also linked Putin’s move to the Ukrainian army’s recent attack on Makiivka, which killed at least 89 Russian service members. “He really didn’t want to get something like that for Christmas,” she said.

Ukrainians were skeptical of Putin’s statement.

“Frankly, March 8 (Women’s Day), (Ukrainian) Independence Day, Christmas (December 25) and New Years, there is no ceasefire. Why should there be one now? 21 people who fled Mariupol to Kyiv Sophiia Romanovska, a 20-year-old student, said her comments were laced with expletives.

Putin issued the truce order after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Putin to implement a “unilateral ceasefire” in a phone call, according to the Turkish presidential office. The Kremlin said Putin “reaffirmed Russia’s willingness to engage in serious dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities”.

Erdogan also later told Zelensky by phone that Turkey was ready to broker a “lasting peace.” Erdogan, who has made such frequent offers, helped broker a deal that allowed Ukraine to export millions of tons of food and facilitated prisoner exchanges.

Russia’s stated readiness for peace talks presupposes that “the Kyiv authorities fulfill well-known and repeatedly stated demands and recognize new territorial realities,” the Kremlin said, referring to Moscow’s insistence that Ukraine recognize Crimea and other illegal Occupied Ukrainian territory as part of Russia.

Previous attempts at talks failed over Moscow’s territorial claims as Ukraine insisted that Russia withdraw from the occupied zone.

In addition to the diplomatic talks, a new pledge of military support for Ukraine was made on Thursday.

Germany said it would supply Ukraine with batteries of Patriot missiles, the most advanced surface-to-air missile system the West has provided to Kyiv, in line with what the United States announced last month.

Germany also said it would supply Marder armored personnel carriers, and France said it would negotiate with Ukraine for the delivery of tank-destroying armored combat vehicles.

U.S. officials said they would provide Ukraine with nearly $3 billion in military aid in a massive new program that will include dozens of Bradley Fighting Vehicles for the first time. The aim of the aid is to get as much aid as possible to Ukrainian troops before spring arrives and fighting intensifies.

An announcement is expected on Friday, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because details of the package have not been released.

The Kremlin says the West’s supply of arms to Ukraine is prolonging the conflict.

With the arrival of more weapons, the battlefield situation seems to be stuck in a stalemate, becoming more and more a war of attrition. With the onset of winter, mobility of troops and equipment is more limited.

In the latest fighting, Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said at least five civilians had been killed and eight wounded by Russian shelling in the past 24 hours.

Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said fierce fighting had left 60 percent of the eastern city of Bakhmut in rubble. The Ukrainian defender appeared to be holding the Russians back. Seizing the city in the Donbass region, a sprawling industrial region bordering Russia, would not only give Putin a major battlefield victory after months of setbacks, but would cut off Ukraine’s supply lines, leaving Moscow’s The army was able to advance towards the main Ukrainian stronghold in Donetsk.

The first batch of prisoners recruited by Russian private military contractor Wagner Group have received a promised pardon after six months of front-line service, in what appears to be an effort to draw more to the fight.

A video released by Ria Novosti showed Yevgeny Prigozhin, the millionaire boss of the Wagner Group, shaking hands with about 20 of the pardoned. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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