At the weekend Russia wants to insert a ceasefire in Ukraine. President Putin announces a day-and-a-half ceasefire from Friday afternoon. The Russian Orthodox Church had previously called for such a step. However, there is a clear rejection from Kyiv.
In view of the upcoming Orthodox Christmas, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a one-and-a-half day ceasefire in Ukraine. This decision was made on the basis of an appeal by Patriarch Kirill, it said. Ukraine, however, rejects a ceasefire.
Putin instructed the Russian Ministry of Defense to cease hostilities in the neighboring country from 12 noon on Friday (local time/10 a.m.CET) to midnight on Saturday evening (local time/10 p.m.CET), according to a Kremlin statement.
The influential head of the Russian Orthodox Church had previously called for a ceasefire in Ukraine during the Orthodox Christmas celebrations so that believers could attend mass. The Eastern Churches celebrate Christmas on January 7 according to the Julian calendar.
Ukraine rejects truce to mark Orthodox Christmas under Russian occupation. Russian troops must leave Ukraine before a ceasefire, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
In a telephone conversation with Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also called for a "unilateral ceasefire", although the statement by the Turkish President's Office did not make it clear that he was addressing the Russian side.
According to the Kremlin statement, Putin also called on the Ukrainian side to follow the Russian example and also to stop firing over Christmas. Kyiv, however, had already rejected such a ceasefire after Kirill called it a "cynical trap".