Russian President Vladimir Putin orders ceasefire in Ukraine on Jan 6 and 7 following request from Russia's spiritual leader Patriarch Kirill, the Kremlin announced on Thursday.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, called for both sides of the war in Ukraine to observe a Christmas truce, a step dismissed by Kyiv as a cynical trap.
"Taking into account the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation to introduce a ceasefire regime along the entire line of contact of the parties in Ukraine from 12.00 on January 6, 2023 to 24.00 on January 7, 2023.
"Proceeding from the fact that a large number of citizens professing Orthodoxy live in the areas of hostilities, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and allow them to attend services on Christmas Eve, as well as on Christmas Day," Putin said in the order.
Ukraine Says 'Ceasefire is a Cynical Trap'
An an adviser from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office called the ceasefire as a "cynical trap."
"[The] ROC is not an authority for global Orthodoxy and acts as a ‘war propagandist’," Mykhailo Podolyak said according to the Ukrainian state-owned news agency Ukinform. "ROC called for the genocide of Ukrainians, incited mass murder and insists on even greater militarization of [the Russian Federation].
"Thus, ROC's statement about ‘Christmas truce’ is a cynical trap and an element of propaganda," the statement added.
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