Ukraine: Kyiv dismisses Putin’s call for ceasefire as ‘hypocrisy’


Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his defense minister to enforce a temporary 36-hour ceasefire in Ukraine this week to allow Orthodox Christians to attend Christmas celebrations, the Kremlin said Thursday. But the proposal was quickly rejected by the Ukrainian authorities as “hypocrisy”.

Putin’s order came after the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, called for a ceasefire between January 6 and January 7, when many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas.

But Ukrainian officials expressed skepticism about the temporary ceasefire, saying Moscow only wanted a stop to stockpile supplies, equipment and ammunition.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a late-night speech on Thursday that Russia plans to use Orthodox Christmas as a cover to resupply and halt Ukraine’s advances in the eastern Donbass region.

“What will this achieve? “There is only another increase in the number of casualties.”

“Regarding this ceasefire – they just want to have a break for a day or two, to collect more supplies, to bring some more ammunition,” Serhiy Heidai, head of the Luhansk regional military administration, told Ukrainian TV.

“Russia cannot be trusted. Heidai added that they do not say a single word.

Now in its 11th month, a battle that many experts thought would be over in days or weeks has turned into an all-out war.

Both sides have taken a hit in recent weeks: Ukraine’s economy shrank by more than 30 percent last year, as Russian missile attacks overwhelmed civilian infrastructure and left many without heat in the dead of winter. Meanwhile, Ukrainian attacks on Russian garrisons have killed a significant number of Russian troops and created controversy within Russia.

Reacting to Putin’s action on Twitter, Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the Ukrainian president, said that Russia must leave “occupied territories” in Ukraine before any temporary ceasefire.

“First. Ukraine does not attack foreign soil and does not kill civilians. As RF [Russian Federation] Does … Second. The RF must leave the occupied territories – only then will there be a “temporary ceasefire”. “Keep the hypocrisy to yourself,” Podoliak said.

The proposal of a temporary ceasefire also provoked protests among the international community.

US President Joe Biden told reporters on Thursday that he is “not willing to respond to anything Putin says.” It was interesting to me that he was ready to bomb hospitals, kindergartens and churches on the 25th and New Year.

“I mean, I think he’s trying to find some oxygen,” he continued.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price described it as “pessimistic” and said the US had “little confidence in the intentions behind” Russia’s proposed ceasefire.

German Foreign Minister Analena Baerbock also warned on Thursday that the promise of a ceasefire would not bring “freedom or security” to people living under Moscow’s brutal war.

If Putin wanted peace, he would take his troops home and the war would be over. “But apparently he wants to continue fighting after a short break.”

Putin’s order comes after he spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – who has tried to position himself as a mediator between the Russian president and the West – in which Putin said he was ready for “serious talks” on Ukraine. is, but Kyiv must accept this “negotiation”. According to the Kremlin statement, new territorial realities.

“According to His Excellency Kirill’s request, I order the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation to present from 12:00 a.m. January 6, 2023 to 12:00 a.m. January 7, 2023,” the Kremlin’s full statement on Thursday read. Ceasefire across the contact line between the parties in Ukraine.

“Given the fact that a large number of Orthodox citizens live in war zones, we ask the Ukrainian side to announce a ceasefire and give them the opportunity to participate in the Christmas Eve ceremony as well as on Christmas Day. From Christ.”

The leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Kyiv and Ukrainian Epiphany, conducts the Divine Liturgy on Christmas, December 7, 2021, at the Golden Dome Cathedral of St. Michael in Kyiv.

Kirill has been a staunch supporter of Russia’s war in Ukraine, delivering a sermon in September in which he said “military service washes away all sins.”

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church has also been embroiled in animosity with Pope Francis, who described the invasion of Ukraine as “Russian expansionism and imperialism.”

And in May, the pope asked Patriarch Kirill not to “become Putin’s altar boy.”

In November, a branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church announced that it would allow its churches to celebrate Christmas on December 25 instead of January 7, as is customary in Orthodox congregations.

The announcement by the Kyiv-based Ukrainian Orthodox Church widened the gap between the Russian Orthodox Church and other Orthodox believers.

In recent years, large parts of the Orthodox community in Ukraine have turned away from Moscow, a movement that was accelerated by the conflict that Russia unleashed in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Ukrainians, who have suffered almost a year of conflict, expressed distrust towards Putin’s announcement.

In the southern region of Kherson, Pavlo Skutarenko does not expect much change. They shell us every day, people die in Kherson every day. And this temporary measure will not change anything.”

From the front lines in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, a Ukrainian soldier told CNN that the announcement of a temporary ceasefire appears to be an attempt to clean up Russia’s image.

“I don’t think it’s going to be done for military tactical purposes, one day it won’t solve much,” the Ukrainian soldier, who goes by the call sign Archer, told CNN.

“Maybe it’s to make the whole image of Russia a little bit more humane, because there’s a lot of crimes coming up all the time, and that can get them a little bit of credit from the public,” the soldier said.

Halina Hladka said that in the capital Kyiv, where Russian attacks over the New Year angered even the most modest of celebrations, she saw the temporary ceasefire as an attempt by the Russians to buy time.

“Russia has already demonstrated the active use of faith in many forms of manipulation. “And besides, in almost a year of war, Russia has not behaved as a country capable of keeping promises.”


Also Read :  Russia pauses grain deal after Ukraine strikes warships in Sevastopol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button