Ukraine rejects Russian Christmas truce

By Pavel Polityuk and Herbert Villarraga
Jan 05 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Thursday for a 36-hour ceasefire in Ukraine to mark Orthodox Christmas, a move rejected by Kyiv which said there could be no truce until Russia withdraws its troops from occupied land.

The United States and Germany made a joint announcement to supply Ukraine with armoured combat vehicles, a boost for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy who has urged Western allies to provide his forces with armour and heavy weapons for months.

Fifty Bradley Fighting Vehicles would be included in a $2.8 billion U.S. package. Germany said it was sending Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles, following an announcement by France on Wednesday it was sending AMX-10 RC armoured combat vehicles.

The Kremlin said Putin had ordered Russian troops to cease firing from midday on Friday along the entire front, in response to a call for a Christmas truce from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, a close Putin ally.

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