Ukraine, Germany, US reject Russia’s Christmas truce
Ukraine, Germany and the United States on Thursday rejected Russia’s declaration of a ceasefire over Orthodox Christmas.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered a temporary ceasefire in Ukraine on Orthodox Christmas, celebrated this week by both countries, according to the Kremlin.
This is the first time Russia introduced a full ceasefire in Ukraine since the launch of the offensive in February last year.
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Russia “must leave the occupied territories -- only then will it have a ‘temporary truce’. Keep hypocrisy to yourself,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter in reaction to the Kremlin announcement.
“This is a complete propaganda gesture and nothing more,” Podolyak said in a separate statement.
“Russia is trying to find any way to lower the intensity of the fighting and the intensity of the strikes on its logistical centers” to strengthen and regroup, he added.
US President Joe Biden said that Putin’s order for a two-day Orthodox Christmas ceasefire in Ukraine was simply an effort to find breathing room for his war effort.
“He was ready to bomb hospitals and nurseries and churches” on December 25 and on New Year’s Day, Biden said, adding: “I think he’s trying to find some oxygen.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock slammed the ceasefire ordered by Putin and said if the Russian leader really wanted peace “he would bring his soldiers home.”
“A so-called ceasefire brings neither freedom nor security to people living in daily fear under Russian occupation,” Baerbock wrote on Twitter.
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