On Thursday, Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said that his country will agree on a ceasefire with Russia only after Russian troops are withdrawn from Ukraine.
Russian President Orders Orthodox Christmas Ceasefire
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a temporary ceasefire along the frontline. This truce was expected to last for 36 hours, starting at noon local time on Jan. 6., when Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas.
Putin also called on Kyev to declare a ceasefire based on the fact that a large number of Orthodox citizens live in the combat areas.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Kyev did not comply with the ceasefire and its troops carried out artillery attacks against the Russian army and the population under its protection.
To justify breaking the proposed ceasefire, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenski accused Russia of "using Christmas" as a cover to regroup its forces and move equipment and troops closer to Ukrainian positions.
On Friday, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov indicated that his country's soldiers are responding to Ukrainian attacks, which were carried out from a location near the town of Novopavlivka in the Zaporizhia region.
He specified that the Ukrainian forces carried out 11 attacks with artillery fire, three of which were aimed at the Lugansk region.