Syndicated with permission via Valiant News| Andrew White|
Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky rejected a Russian offer for a temporary truce to mark Orthodox Christmas.
The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to order a 36-hour ceasefire with Ukraine to mark Orthodox Christmas on Thursday, which the Ukranian regime subsequently denied.
“Taking into account the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation to introduce a cease-fire 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 cease-fire and allow them to attend services on Christmas Eve, as well as on Christmas Day,” Putin added.
The Russian Orthodox Church observes Christmas on January 7, unlike western Christians who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25. Zelensky promptly banned the church, Ukraine’s largest, in early December.
In response to the request, Zelensky’s presidential adviser Mikhailo Podolyak tweeted that Russia “must leave the occupied territories – only then will it have a ‘temporary truce’. Keep hypocrisy to yourself.”
Podolyak then made the claim that Ukraine has not attacked foreign territory or killed civilians, but only “members of the occupation army on its territory,” adding that the prospect of peace is merely “a cynical trap and an element of propaganda” by the Church’s “war propagandist” leader.
Podolyak’s claims that Ukraine has not attacked foreign territory, however, come after the AP recently admitted that Ukraine was most likely responsible for launching Russian-made missiles into Poland in November. Zelensky maintains Russia is responsible despite evidence to the contrary, Valiant News reported.
The prospect of peace between nations at war for the purpose of celebrating Christmas is not unfamiliar in global history. During Christmas time in 1914, German and British forces entrenched in the bloody chaos of the First World War paused their fighting on Christmas Day to fraternize, exchange gifts and souvenirs, and even play soccer with one another on the battlefield.