Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

Kyiv rejects Putin's Russian Orthodox Christmas truce

Kyiv rejects Putin's Russian Orthodox Christmas truce

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his defense minister to impose a 36-hour ceasefire on the Ukrainian front line.
The ceasefire— from 12:00 Moscow time (09:00 GMT) — coincides with the Russian Orthodox Christmas. Putin asked Ukraine to reciprocate, but Kyiv quickly rejected the request.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said the truce was an attempt to stop his country's military advances in the east of the country.

The Kremlin statement appeared to stress that President Putin ordered his troops to stop fighting not because he was de-escalating — Putin never de-escalates — but because he had listened to an appeal from the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Kirill had, earlier in the day, called for a Christmas truce to allow believers to attend services for Orthodox Christmas.

Putin's order called on Ukraine to reciprocate so that the "large numbers of Orthodox believers [who] reside in areas where hostilities are taking place" could celebrate Christmas Eve on Friday and Christmas Day on Saturday.

But in his nightly video address, President Zelensky said that Russia wanted to use the truce as a cover to stop Ukrainian advances in the eastern Donbas region and bring in more men and equipment.

The Russian Orthodox Church — the largest of the Eastern Orthodox Churches — celebrates Christmas Day on Jan. 7, according to the Julian calendar.

Some people in Ukraine celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, others on Jan. 7. Both days are public holidays in the country.

This year, for the first time, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine said it would allow its congregations to celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, as do some other denominations in western Ukraine.

The Church split with the similarly named Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) in 2018.

The UOC itself was tied to Moscow's religious leadership until Russia's invasion, and some of its top clergy have been accused of still covertly supporting Moscow.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said Moscow had repeatedly ignored President Zelensky's propositions for peace.

He pointed to Russia's shelling of Kherson on Dec. 24 and strikes on New Year's Eve as evidence of Moscow's inability to cease hostilities during religious holidays.

US President Joe Biden believes Putin was simply "trying to find some oxygen".

The Kremlin's ceasefire fits in nicely with a common narrative in Moscow, one that is aimed primarily at the domestic audience.

That is — that the Russians are the good guys, and it is Ukraine and the West that are threatening Russia.

The truce is also a handy tool that can be used to demonize Ukraine — as the Ukrainians have dismissed the proposal, Moscow will claim that Kyiv does not respect religious believers and has no desire for peace.

But it should not be forgotten that it was Russia who started this war by launching an unprovoked invasion of its neighbor.

The move also comes just a few days after a large number of Russian troops were killed in a Ukrainian strike on a temporary barracks in the occupied Ukrainian city of Makiivka.

The Russian Defense Ministry put the death toll at 89, making it the highest single loss of life admitted by Moscow since the war began.

Relatives of the dead, as well as some politicians and commentators, expressed anger over what happened in Makiivka and blamed incompetent military officials.

The incident happened on New Year's Eve — the most important holiday in the Russian calendar.

Political analyst Tatyana Stanovaya said that it is possible the Kremlin wants to ensure no more major loss of life occurs on another important Russian holiday.

"Putin really does not want a repetition of that on Orthodox Christmas Day," she wrote.

A few hours after Russia's ceasefire announcement, Germany said it would follow the US in providing a Patriot air defense missile system to Ukraine.

Germany also announced, in a joint statement with the US, that both countries would send armored vehicles.

France said on Wednesday that it would send armored fighting vehicles. Kyiv has repeatedly called for more aid from its international allies in the face of continuing Russian aggression.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×