Putin announced a ceasefire in Ukraine on January 6-7 during the Orthodox Christmas holiday

The Russian president announced a 36-hour ceasefire in Ukraine on January 6 and 7 after Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is close to the Kremlin, called for a ceasefire on the occasion of the Orthodox Christmas. In turn, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered Vladimir Zelenskiy help in conducting peace talks with Moscow. Follow the latest developments in the conflict hour by hour.

  • 16:15: Vladimir Putin orders unilateral 36-hour ceasefire in Ukraine for Orthodox Christmas

The Kremlin announced Thursday that Vladimir Putin has declared a ceasefire in Ukraine for Orthodox Christmas from January 6 to 7 until midnight.

“Taking into account the appeal of the Holy Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defense of Russia to implement a ceasefire regime along the entire line of contact between the parties in Ukraine from 12:00 on January 6 to midnight on January 7 this year.” The Kremlin statement says.

  • 15:50: Belarus is strengthening its military alliance with Russia

Minsk and Moscow have strengthened their joint military group in Belarus with weapons, soldiers and special equipment and are preparing joint air force exercises, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry said the goal was to “strengthen the defense and defense of the Union of Russia and Belarus.”

“Transportation of the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, weapons, military and special equipment to the Republic of Belarus will be continued,” the information says.

  • 15:48: Wagner band founder frees ex-prisoners sent to fight in Ukraine

Yevgeny Prigogine, the founder of the Wagner paramilitary group, freed former prisoners conscripted to fight in Ukraine for the first time on Thursday and asked them to prevent any slippage in their return to civilian life.

Originally made up of veterans of the Russian military, Wagner’s militia recruited thousands of ordinary legal prisoners after Moscow launched a February 24 attack on Kiev, promising to restore freedom after fighting in Ukraine.

In the footage released by the RIA news agency, we see Evguény Prigojine shaking hands with a group of prisoners who were released after the end of their six-month contract.

He tells a group of men laughing at his words, “Don’t drink too much, don’t take drugs, don’t rape women.”

“You have learned a lot – first of all, you have learned how to kill the enemy,” Yevgeny Prigogine told them again on the bus. “I really don’t want you to practice this skill in a forbidden place (…). If you want to kill the enemy, go back.”

  • 15:29: Turkish President Erdogan offered Zelenskiy help in peace talks with Moscow

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy after talking with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The Turkish leader tried to stop the war using his good relations with Moscow and Kiev.

Turkey hosted the first two rounds of peace talks and helped seal a UN-backed deal that restored Ukraine’s grain supplies via the Black Sea.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly tried to bring Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky to Turkey for a peace summit.

  • 15:24: Report at the fitness center for Ukrainian soldiers

In the Kharkiv region, soldiers come to stay in a fitness center for a few days before returning to the front. Reporting by Achren Verdian.

  • 15:00: What are the advantages for Kyiv of the tanks that will soon be supplied by France?

  • 12:07: Russia is ready for dialogue with Ukraine on condition of accepting “new territorial realities”.

President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is open to dialogue with Ukraine, provided that Ukraine accepts the “new territorial realities” arising from Russia’s aggression.

In a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who called for a cease-fire in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin “reiterated that Russia is open to a serious dialogue – on the condition that the Kyiv authorities comply with the well-known and repeatedly expressed demands. taking into account the new territorial realities,” the Kremlin statement said.

Vladimir Putin also condemned the “destructive role of Western countries in the conflict” over the supply of weapons crucial to the Ukrainian war effort.

The Russian head of state accused the West of “feeding the Kyiv regime with weapons and military equipment, providing it with operative and targeted information.”

  • 11:03: After France, Olaf Scholz under pressure to deliver tanks to Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is under pressure from coalition members to give the green light to sending tanks to Ukraine after France announced the delivery of light battle tanks.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chairwoman of the Bundestag’s defense committee, a senior official in the liberal FDP party, said: “The argument that the chancellor has continuously put forward that Germany should not go it alone is completely over.” , a member of the German chancellor’s coalition.

In response to Kiev’s demands for confrontation with the Russian army, Paris has promised to supply Ukraine with French-made AMX-10 RC light battle tanks.

    Ukraine: Emmanuel Macron promised to send light combat tanks
Ukraine: Emmanuel Macron promised to send light combat tanks © AFP

Ukraine’s European allies have previously supplied Soviet-made tanks, but not Western-made tanks yet, despite repeated requests from Kiev.

“France is once again assuming the role expected of Germany and leading the way,” lamented Mrs. Strack-Zimmermann, “the ball is now in Berlin’s court.”

  • 10:43: Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Putin for a “unilateral ceasefire”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to observe a “unilateral ceasefire” in Ukraine.

“Calls for peace and negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv should be supported by a unilateral ceasefire,” Turkish President Vladimir Putin said in a telephone interview.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who will also meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday, has followed a line that has allowed him to maintain good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin while supplying arms to Kiev since the conflict began.

Turkey, a member of NATO, does not associate itself with sanctions against Russia and tries to maintain its mediator position between Kyiv and Moscow.

Thus, Ankara played a key role in the prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine in September and in July the UN-sponsored agreement to allow the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea and the Bosphorus.

  • 10:30: What were the reactions in Ukraine after the announcement of delivery of French tanks to Kyiv?

French President Emmanuel Macron told his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky on Wednesday that France will supply Ukraine with AMX-10 RC “light battle tanks”.

Delivery of French tanks to Kiev: how are the reactions in Ukraine?
Delivery of French tanks to Kiev: how are the reactions in Ukraine? © AFP

  • 10:11: According to Ukraine, more than 800 Russian soldiers were killed in one day

The Ukrainian army estimated that more than 800 Russian soldiers were killed during the last day, mainly in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

The daily update of the Ukrainian army said that the fighting was concentrated in the Bakhmut sector, where Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked the cities of Avdiivka and Kupyansk.

It is said that Russia lost an airplane, a helicopter and three tanks on this last day.

  • 09:50: Russian Patriarch Kirill has called for a ceasefire in Ukraine for Orthodox Christmas

Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church called Moscow and Kiev for a ceasefire in Ukraine on the occasion of the Orthodox Christmas.

“I, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, appeal to all parties involved in the fratricide to call for a cease-fire and a Christmas ceasefire from January 6 at 12:00 p.m. to January 7 at 12:00 p.m. message posted on the church’s website.

According to him, this reconciliation should serve so that “Orthodox can participate in Christmas Eve and holiday ceremonies” in Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine are predominantly Orthodox countries, but Kyiv has moved away from Moscow’s religious control in recent years, notably by creating an independent church.

Patriarch Kirill has delivered sermons since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, blessing Russian troops while criticizing Ukrainian authorities.

Ukraine, in turn, conducted a number of searches for “counter-intelligence” measures in churches and monasteries subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate.

  • 09:23: Ukraine’s economy will shrink by 30.4% in 2022

Ukraine’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 30.4% in 2022, according to a preliminary estimate, which is less than expected, Economy Minister Yuliya Sviridenko said.

According to the minister, this fall is the biggest fall since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, when the Ukrainian economy suffered due to the Russian invasion that began last February.

  • 7:00: On Ukraine’s northern border, fears of a new invasion from Belarus

The Russians are threatening a new ground offensive in northern Ukraine from Belarus. On the contrary, Ukraine is preparing to repel a potential attack.

  • 6am: Critics rally after deadly Makiivka strike in Russia

Criticism has grown in Russia since the New Year’s Eve strike against Russian soldiers who killed 89 in Makivka, eastern Ukraine.

The announcement of the heavier duty in Russia did not provoke new criticism of the military command, which was already criticized by reporters and commentators on Monday and Tuesday for its “incompetence”. Many Russians have demanded a transparent investigation into the circumstances of the strike on social networks.

The General Staff of Ukraine confirmed that this strike was carried out, and the strategic communications department of the Ukrainian army said that 400 dead and 300 more seriously wounded in the Russian ranks. However, this claim was not confirmed by the employees.

The United States did not comment on these figures either. However, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, “There is no complaint from the (US) administration. This is a war. (Ukrainians) are being invaded and they are retreating and defending themselves,” he said in a press interview. on Wednesday.

“Russian soldiers on their territory are a legitimate target of military operations for Ukraine,” he added.

With Reuters and AFP

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