Ukraine rejects Putin’s Orthodox Christmas ceasefire proposal | Russia-Ukraine war News

Ukraine has dismissed a proposal from Russian President Vladimir Putin for a 36-hour ceasefire over Orthodox Christmas, saying there could be no truce till Russia withdraws its forces from occupied land.

The Kremlin mentioned Putin had ordered a 36-hour ceasefire from noon (10:00 GMT) on Friday after a name for a Christmas truce from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the pinnacle of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“Making an allowance for the enchantment of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Protection of the Russian Federation to introduce a cease-fire regime alongside all the line of contact of the events in Ukraine from 12.00 on January 6, 2023, to 24.00 on January 7, 2023,” Putin mentioned in a press release on Thursday.

“Continuing from the truth that a lot of residents professing Orthodoxy dwell within the areas of hostilities, we name on the Ukrainian aspect to declare a cease-fire and permit them to attend companies on Christmas Eve, in addition to on Christmas Day,” Putin mentioned.

A senior Ukrainian official shortly dismissed the proposal and mentioned a ceasefire may solely occur if Russia leaves occupied territory in Ukraine.

Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter that Russia “should depart the occupied territories – solely then will it have a ‘short-term truce’. Hold hypocrisy to your self.”

He mentioned that in contrast to Russia, Ukraine was not attacking international territory or killing civilians, solely destroying “members of the occupation military on its territory”.

Patriarch Kirill
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia conducts a service in a church in Moscow [File: Yulia Morozova/Reuters]

A ‘cynical lure’

Earlier on Thursday, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the pinnacle of the Russian Orthodox Church, known as for each side of the conflict in Ukraine to watch a Christmas truce so “Orthodox folks can attend companies on Christmas Eve and on the day of the Nativity of Christ”.

The Russian Orthodox Church is the most important within the Japanese Orthodox communion.

It has round 100 million followers inside Russia and extra outdoors.

Nevertheless, Ukraine dismissed the request made by the patriarch, who had beforehand justified the conflict as a part of Russia’s “metaphysical battle” to stop a liberal ideological encroachment from the West.

Podolyak responded by saying that the Russian Orthodox Church is a “conflict propagandist” that had incited the “mass homicide” of Ukrainians and the militarisation of Russia.

“The assertion of the Russian Orthodox Church concerning the ‘Christmas Truce’ is a cynical lure and a component of propaganda,” he mentioned.

Since November, Ukraine’s safety companies have cracked down on Mosow-linked church buildings and raided properties accused of partaking in anti-Ukrainian exercise and supporting Russia’s invasion.

In December, Ukraine positioned punitive measures towards seven senior clerics who had been allegedly amongst Orthodox leaders identified to have been sympathetic to Moscow.

Negotiations spurned

Earlier on Thursday, Russia and Ukraine made clear there could be no negotiations between them any time quickly, successfully spurning a proposal of mediation by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spoke individually to each Putin and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The Kremlin mentioned Putin had instructed Erdogan that Moscow was prepared for talks – however solely underneath the situation that Ukraine “keep in mind the brand new territorial realities”, a reference to acknowledging Moscow’s annexation of Ukrainian territory.

Ukraine’s Podolyak known as that demand “totally unacceptable”.

“The Russian Federation (Putin) underneath the phrase ‘talks’ gives Ukraine & the world to recognise ‘its proper to grab international territories’ & ‘to repair the absence of authorized penalties for mass killings on international territory,’” he wrote on Twitter.

Greater than 10 months after Putin ordered an invasion of neighbouring Ukraine and seized swathes of its land, Russia and Ukraine have each entered the brand new 12 months with hardened diplomatic positions.

After main battlefield victories within the second half of 2022, Kyiv seems more and more assured that it may well drive Russian invaders from extra of its land.

Putin, for his half, has proven no willingness to debate relinquishing his territorial conquests regardless of mounting losses amongst his troops, after he ordered the primary call-up of reservists since World Battle II.

Through the dialog between the Russian and Turkish presidents, Erdogan urged Putin to implement a “unilateral ceasefire”, in accordance with a press release from the Turkish president’s workplace.

The Turkish president additionally spoke a couple of doable ceasefire with Ukraine and mentioned they had been able to mediate “lasting peace”.

Erdogan has acted as a mediator previously, notably serving to to dealer a United Nations-backed deal that unblocked Ukrainian ports to ship grain. He has spoken by telephone to each Putin and Zelenskyy on the identical day a number of occasions, most just lately final month.

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