“The Russian authorities want to use Christmas as a cover to stop the advance of our guys in Donbass, to bring equipment, ammunition and mobilize closer to our positions. This action will only lead to another increase in the number of dead.” This was stated by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in his video message on Telegram, speaking of the announcement of a 36-hour truce made by Vladimir Putin to allow Orthodox Christmas to be celebrated. “Everyone knows that the Kremlin uses truces to then resume the war with greater vigor” added Zelensky who then concluded: “The war will end either when your soldiers leave or when we have driven them out”.
Yesterday, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, instructed the defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, to introduce a ceasefire regime along the entire front line in Ukraine from 12 noon on January 6 to midnight on January 7, coinciding with the vigil and Christmas celebrations for the Orthodox. This was announced by the Kremlin, according to Russian agencies. “We are also calling on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and allow citizens to participate in Christmas services,” the Russian presidency said. This morning, it was the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Kirill, who launched an appeal for a Christmas truce so that “the Orthodox can attend the services on Christmas Eve and on the day of the Nativity of Christ”. Kiev had labeled the Orthodox primate’s request as “a cynical and propaganda trap”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, had told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that peace efforts in the Russia-Ukraine war should be underpinned by a unilateral ceasefire and a “vision for an equitable solution,” said the Turkish presidency. Recalling the positive outcomes of the negotiations on the grain corridor, the exchange of prisoners and the initiatives on the safe zone around the Zaporozhzhia nuclear power plant, the Turkish president said that calls for peace and negotiations between Russia and Ukraine should be backed by a unilateral ceasefire agreement and a vision for a just solution. During the phone call, the two leaders discussed energy, the Turkish gas hub to be completed quickly, and the situation in Syria. Erdogan said that the Syrian regime should take a constructive attitude and take some steps in the political process in order to achieve concrete results in Syria. In the text released by the Turkish presidency, Erdogan also stressed that concrete steps should now be taken to eliminate the PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization from Turkey’s border regions.
“Russia is open to dialogue with Ukraine on condition that the latter accepts the new territorial realities” born from the Russian offensive”, declared President Vladimir Putin instead. In the telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan , who has called for a truce in Ukraine, Putin “reiterated that Russia is open to a serious dialogue, provided that the Kiev authorities respect the well-known requests expressed on several occasions and take into account the new territorial realities”. reads in a Kremlin statement.
Zelensky doesn’t believe Putin: truce only to prepare new attacks