Moscow and Kyiv report shelling: Putin's ceasefire has begun

The weapons in Ukraine are to be idle for 36 hours - as ordered by Russian President Putin.

Moscow and Kyiv report shelling: Putin's ceasefire has begun

The weapons in Ukraine are to be idle for 36 hours - as ordered by Russian President Putin. However, the ceasefire is one-sided, as Kyiv makes clear. Shortly after the start of the ceasefire, according to Russian sources, Ukrainian shelling came.

The unilateral ceasefire in Ukraine for the Orthodox Christmas announced by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin on Thursday officially came into force on Friday afternoon Moscow time (10:00 a.m. CET). The probability that the ceasefire will last the ordered 36 hours is considered low. The Kremlin justified the ceasefire by wanting to give believers the opportunity to take part in church services.

Deputy head of Ukraine's presidential office Kyrylo Tymoshenko said Russian forces had attacked the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. Accordingly, there were "at least four explosions" in which numerous people were killed or injured. Tymoshenko did not say whether the attack came before or after the ceasefire announced by Moscow.

The Russian side also reported shelling on the enemy side. Shortly after the ceasefire came into effect, representatives of the Russian occupying power in eastern Ukraine told the state news agency TASS: "Exactly at 12 noon, when the ceasefire came into force, the Ukrainian armed forces shelled Donetsk with artillery weapons." How the Russian side reacted to the alleged shelling is still unclear.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called Russia's ceasefire announcement an "excuse" aimed at "at least halting the advance of our troops in the Donbass and bringing in equipment and ammunition and moving men closer to our positions." Kyiv had previously rejected the request to also put the guns down during the ceasefire that had been ordered. Peace can only come after the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, sources in Kyiv said.

At the same time, politicians appointed by Moscow in the occupied areas of Ukraine have made it clear that they are prepared to shoot if in doubt. Putin's order only applies to offensive actions by the Russian side. "This does not mean that we will not respond to enemy provocations! Or even give the enemy some chance to improve their positions on the front line during these holiday hours," Moscow-appointed governor in Donetsk Denis Puschilin wrote on his Telegram channel.

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