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Putin announces Christmas truce

The cessation of hostilities in Ukraine is to last from noon on Friday until midnight on Saturday, the Kremlin has revealed

President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian troops to impose a cessation in hostilities in Ukraine. Hours earlier, Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill had called on the forces of both sides of the conflict to cease hostilities in the run-up to and during the holiday.

According to the Kremlin, the truce is intended to last from noon on Friday January 6 until midnight on Saturday January 7.

“Judging by the fact that a lot of citizens who practice the Orthodox religion live in the embattled area, we call upon the Ukrainian side to proclaim a cessation of hostilities and give them the opportunity to attend services on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day,” Moscow said.

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READ MORE: Russian Church calls for ‘Christmas truce’ in Ukraine

Earlier on Thursday, Putin discussed the prospect of peace negotiations with Ukraine with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, over the phone. The Russian president reiterated that Moscow was “open to serious dialogue” with Kiev if the latter recognized the “new territorial realities.”

Erdogan responded by saying that “calls for peace and negotiations should be supported by a unilateral declaration of ceasefire and a vision of a just solution” of the conflict.

Ankara has offered to broker negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in the past. Meaningful peace talks between the two sides effectively collapsed in April, with both Moscow and Kiev blaming the other. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in late December that Ukrainian politicians were “incapable of negotiating,” adding that “the majority of them are blatant Russophobes.”

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January 05, 2023 at 08:47PM
RT

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