Putin has ordered a “Christmas truce” which may be a “cynical trap,” Ukrainian officials warned (updated)

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Putin has ordered Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu to implement the “Christmas truce” from 12:00 of January 6 till 24:00 of January 7, backing the calls by the Russian Orthodox Church, the Kremlin press service writes. It is yet unclear how Putin will implement a “truce” or how can he use it.

“Based on the fact that a large number of citizens professing Orthodoxy live in the combat areas, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and give them the opportunity to attend services on Christmas Eve, as well as on the Day of the Christmas,” the Russian statement reads.

Ukrainian officials named the proposal “a cynical trap”:

Ukrainian advisor at presidential office and member of negotiating team Mykhailo Podoliak has also responded to the Russian call for the “Christmas truce.” He called on Russia to leave all occupied territories to have truce as well as to “keep hypocrisy to yourself”

Orthodox Christians in Russia celebrate Christmas on 7 January, due to the Julian calendar, while in Ukraine 30% of the population is now celebrating on 25 December and more than a half on 7 January.

Third of Ukrainians now celebrate Christmas on 25 December, not 7 January

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