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.

N Korea drone entered presidential office no-fly zone: Military | Conflict News

The drone was amongst 5 North Korean unmanned aerial automobiles that crossed into South Korea’s airspace on December 26.

A North Korean drone entered the northern finish of a 3.7km (2.2 miles) radius no-fly zone surrounding South Korea’s presidential workplace in Seoul when it intruded into the nation’s airspace final month, army officers have mentioned.

The drone was amongst 5 North Korean unmanned aerial automobiles that crossed the border and entered South Korean airspace on December 26, prompting South Korea’s army to scramble fighter jets and assault helicopters. The army couldn’t convey down the drones, which flew over South Korean territory for hours.

“It [the drone] briefly flew into the northern fringe of the zone, nevertheless it didn’t come near key safety amenities,” a army official advised South Korea’s Yonhap Information Company on Thursday.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Employees had denied that one of many drones intruded into the no-fly zone of the presidential workplace, however on Thursday reversed its place and confirmed {that a} drone had violated the northern finish of the safe space. The army mentioned the drone didn’t fly instantly over the Yongsan space, the place the workplace of President Yoon Suk-yeol is situated.

The drone incursion has sparked criticism of South Korea’s air defences at a time when North Korea poses a rising risk because it develops its ballistic missile applied sciences, together with test-launching an unprecedented variety of missiles final 12 months.

“Drone incursions have laid naked the South’s inadequate readiness to detect, monitor and shoot down such small drones,” the Yonhap mentioned.

South Korea’s president warned on Wednesday that he would think about suspending a 2018 inter-Korean army pact with Pyongyang if drones violate his nation’s airspace once more.

“He instructed the nationwide safety workplace to think about suspending the validity of the army settlement if North Korea phases one other provocation invading our territory,” presidential press secretary Kim Eun-hye advised a briefing.

 

The 2018 deal, sealed on the sidelines of a summit between North Korean chief Kim Jong Un and former South Korean President Moon Jae-in, referred to as for ceasing “all hostile acts”, making a no-fly zone across the border, and eradicating landmines and guard posts inside the closely fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Yoon’s risk to desert the 2018 pact may imply the return of live-fire drills within the former no-fly zone and propaganda broadcasts throughout the border – all of which drew indignant responses from Pyongyang earlier than the pact. Yoon has criticised the army’s dealing with of the drone incident, and has urged the nation’s forces to face able to retaliate, even when meaning “risking escalation”.

He has additionally ordered the defence minister to launch a complete drone unit that performs multipurpose missions, together with surveillance, reconnaissance and digital warfare, and in addition referred to as for a system to mass-produce stealth drones.

South Korea’s military has operated two drone squadrons inside its Floor Operations Command since 2018, however they have been primarily designed to organize for future warfare.