Russia President Vladimir Putin on Thursday allegedly called on Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to order a ceasefire in Ukraine in observation of Orthodox Christmas.
“Given the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation to introduce a ceasefire regime along the entire line of contact between the parties in Ukraine from 12:00 on January 6 to 24:00 on January 7,” a statement from the Kremlin chief said according to Russian media outlet RIA.
According to Putin, the Russian Orthodox bishop called for a Christmas truce so that the “Orthodox people can attend services on Christmas Eve and on the day of the Nativity of Christ.”
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has yet to publicly comment following Putin’s order, but an adviser from his office described the ceasefire calls made by the Russian Orthodox Church earlier in the day as a “cynical trap.”
“[The] ROC is not an authority for global Orthodoxy and acts as a ‘war propagandist’,” Mykhailo Podolyak said according to the Ukrainian state-owned news agency Ukinform. “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,” the statement added.
Check back on this developing story.
Caitlin McFall is a Reporter at Fox News Digital covering Politics, U.S. and World news.