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President Putin orders cease-fire in Ukraine

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his country’s defense minister to order a temporary cease-fire in Ukraine over Orthodox Christmas.

The ceasefire will kick in for 36 hours starting at noon on January 6. Orthodox Christmas is traditionally celebrated by many on Jan. 6 and 7.

According to the Kremlin’s press service, Putin made the announcement in response to an earlier call by the leader of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, for guns to go silent over the Orthodox holiday.

“Due to the fact that a large number of citizens of the Orthodox faith live in several areas of the conflict zone, we call on the Ukrainian side to observe a ceasefire and allow them to visit Christmas Eve services, as well as those on the day of the birth of Christ.”

Many Orthodox Christians, including those living in Russia and Ukraine, celebrate Christmas on Jan. 6 to 7. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, called for both sides of the war in Ukraine to observe a Christmas truce, a step dismissed by Kyiv as a cynical trap.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, called today for both sides of the war in Ukraine to observe a Christmas truce, a step dismissed by Kyiv as a cynical trap.

“Taking into account the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation to introduce a ceasefire regime along the entire line of contact of the parties in Ukraine from 12.00 on January 6, 2023 to 24.00 on January 7, 2023,” Putin said in the order.

“Proceeding from the fact that a large number of citizens professing Orthodoxy live in the areas of hostilities, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and allow them to attend services on Christmas Eve, as well as on Christmas Day,” Putin said.

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