Putin announces ceasefire along entire contact line in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered his defense minister to implement a ceasefire in Ukraine for 36 hours on Jan. 6 and 7 to allow Orthodox Christians to attend Christmas services, according to a statement from the Kremlin, News.az reports citing CNN.
Many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7.
"Taking into account the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation to introduce from 12:00 January 6, 2023 until 24:00 January 7, 2023, a ceasefire along the entire line of contact between the parties in Ukraine. Based on the fact that a large number of citizens professing Orthodoxy live in the combat areas, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and give them the opportunity to attend services on Christmas Eve, as well as on the Day of the Nativity of Christ," according to the statement.
Earlier on Thursday, Patriarch Kirill — the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church and a vocal supporter of the war — had called for a temporary ceasefire.