the ceasefire decreed by Vladimir Putin on the occasion of Orthodox Christmas should start at 10 a.m.

Cover image: Reservists called up during the partial mobilization attend a departure ceremony in Sevastopol on September 27, 2022 in Crimea. STRINGER / AFP

  • That first major truce since the beginning of the invasion of the country nearly a year ago is to come into force today, at noon Moscow time (10 a.m. Paris time), and run until Saturday evening at midnight (10 p.m. Paris time).
  • This announcement comes after a call to this effect from the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, but also a proposal from the Turkish Head of State, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “In view of the call of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Russian Defense Minister to introduce a ceasefire regime along the entire line of contact between the parties in Ukraine”declared the Russian president, quoted in a statement from the Kremlin.
  • Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, accused Moscow of using ” Christmas as an excuse to attempt, if only temporarily, to halt the progression” Ukrainian forces in the Donbass. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba ruled on Thursday that the ceasefire “cannot and should not be taken seriously”.
  • The Russian ceasefire “will do nothing” to advance towards ” the peace “says London. The Russian announcement will not “Advancing the Prospects of Peace”British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Thursday. “Russia must permanently withdraw its forces, relinquish its illegal control of Ukrainian territory and end its barbaric attacks on innocent civilians”added the head of British diplomacy in a statement posted on Twitter.
  • German diplomacy, for its part, considered that the “alleged” ceasefire will only bring “neither freedom nor security”, while the American president assured that Vladimir Putin “looking for[ait] to get some air”.
  • Belarusian opponent Ales Bialiatski reappeared for the first time in public since his arrest in July 2021. Looking emaciated and pale-faced, he was in a cage with white bars, flanked by four armed policemen.. This 60-year-old human rights activist was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2022 with the Russian NGO Memorial and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties. He faces seven to twelve years in prison.
  • Washington and Berlin will send Bradley and Marder combat vehicles to Ukraine. Under international pressure to increase its military assistance to Ukraine, Germany will also send a battery of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles. The Bradley Fighting Vehicle is medium armored and can serve as a fortified personnel carrier on a battlefield. The Marder is a West German infantry fighting vehicle that entered service in the early 1970s.

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