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News > Russia

Russian President Orders Orthodox Christmas Ceasefire

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin. Jan. 5, 2023.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin. Jan. 5, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@EFE

Published 5 January 2023

The ceasefire will come into effect during Orthodox Christmas, from 12:00 on January 6 until 24:00 on January 7.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to declare a ceasefire on the entire frontline in the area of the special military operation in Ukraine.

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"Considering an address by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Defense Minister of the Russian Federation to establish a ceasefire along the entire frontline in Ukraine from 12:00 on January 6 until 24:00 on January 7 this year," the Russian president said according to a statement released by the Kremlin.

Moscow also urged the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire in that period "based on the fact that a large number of residents in the combat zone are Orthodox Christians" in order to "allow them to attend services on both Christmas Eve and Christmas."

Russia's request has met with rejection from Ukraine, which has considered the calls for ceasefire "a cynical trap and an element of propaganda," the adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Mikhail Podoliak, has said.

Putin's move came after Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia called for a cease-fire from the parties involved in the conflict ahead of the Orthodox Christmas, which falls on the night of January 6-7.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church seeks that "the Orthodox may attend mass on Christmas Eve and the day of the Birth of Christ."

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