Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian troops invading Ukraine to stand down for 36 hours. The Kremlin’s leader explained that, at the request of the Russian Orthodox Church, he was calling for a cessation of hostilities on Moscow’s side. “Taking into account the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defence 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 told his soldiers, according to Reuters.
The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) celebrates Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on the sixth and seventh of January, respectively. Additionally, the Kremlin leader encouraged the Kyiv government to observe the ceasefire since many of the people caught in the region of the conflict are Orthodox Christians. However, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) – which split from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) in 2018 for being too cozy with the Russian Orthodox Church – celebrated Christmas on December 25 for the first time this year.
Another Putin Ploy?
There was little evidence that Russian forces made any effort to recognize the OCU’s celebration of Christmas. In fact, the opposite is true. “Russia on Sunday [December 25] launched more than 10 rocket attacks on the Kupiansk district in the Kharkiv region, shelled more than 25 towns along the Kupiansk-Lyman frontline, and in Zaporizhzhia hit nearly 20 towns, said Ukraine’s top military command,” Euractiv.com reported. Consequently, it’s not surprising ground commanders are skeptical of Moscow’s request for a reciprocal temporary halt to the fighting. Fox News reporting on the Ukrainian reaction to the ceasefire explained:
“’[The] ROC is not an authority for global Orthodoxy and acts as a ‘war propagandist.’ ROC called for the genocide of Ukrainians, incited mass murder and insists on even greater militarization of [the Russian Federation]. Thus, ROC’s statement about ‘Christmas truce’ is a cynical trap and an element of propaganda, Mykhailo Podolyak said according to the Ukrainian state-owned news agency Ukinform.”
There is little encouraging news regarding peace talks happening any time soon. And as rumors abound concerning Putin’s failing health, motives other than a ROC Christmas break may be in play. Despite a paucity of reporting from Moscow on whether the Kremlin leader has irreversible medical problems, Kyrylo Budanov, Chief of Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, spoke with an air of certainty. “He has been sick for a long time; I am sure he has cancer. I think he will die very quickly. I hope very soon,” Kyiv’s intelligence chief is quoted in Ukrainsk Pravda [“truth” in Ukrainian]. Budanov went on to say his information was from sources close to Putin. Whether wishful thinking or legitimate, it is a data point worth filing away.
It remains to be seen if Ukrainian forces will honor Russia’s request for a ceasefire. Despite Putin’s using Ukraine’s Christmas as an opportunity to increase air attacks on Ukrainian civilians, it might be to Kyiv’s benefit to show magnanimity and accede to the Russian request. It would show the world Kyiv’s character. Furthermore, halting the intense fighting for 36 hours, for whatever advantage it gives Russian forces, is also a respite for the courageous Ukrainians.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
Do you have an opinion about this article? We’d love to hear it! If you send your comments to [email protected], we might even publish your edited remarks in our new feature, LN Readers Speak Out. Remember to include the URL of the article along with your name, city, and state.
Please respect our republishing guidelines. Republication permission does not equal site endorsement. Click here.
Liberty Nation Today:
A Sneak Peek
Will Misinformation Remain a Potent Weapon for Progressives? - A mighty champion of the leftist-loving misinformation game has fallen. - Read Now!
Narratives Not Unity in Biden’s State of the Union - The president delivers a horse drawn up by committee. - Read Now!
Undetected Spy Balloon Reveals Dangerous Strategic Gap - Chinese balloons can carry devastating weapons. - Read Now!
The New Spin: Kamala Harris Is Victim of the Vice Presidency - Her shortcomings can no longer be denied, and so they must be contorted. - Read Now!
Netflix Advertising EVs: Woke Becomes New Product Placement - Here is a sneak preview into the future of content creation and consumption. - Read Now!