At 12:00 of 6 January, Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced it is opening a temporary ceasefire ahead of the Julian-calendar Christmas. It is supposed to last until 24:00 on 7 January.
However, in the morning, Russian shelling kept destroying Ukrainian towns.
In the morning, Russian rockets destroyed 14 houses in Kramatorsk, city mayor Honcharenko said.
A medical worker of the Kurakhiv hospital was injured as a result of Russian shelling, officials reported. The rockets hit the infection ward of the hospital, destroying it.
As well, a fire department was shelled in Kherson — the second one in two days, — killing one and injuring four firemen.
The ceasefire announcement was announced on Putin’s command on 5 January. It was criticized by Ukrainan and Western officials.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said it cannot be taken seriously, noting that Russia kept launching missiles into Ukraine on 25 December and New Year.
President @ZelenskyyUa has proposed a clear Peace Formula of ten steps. Russia has been ignoring it and instead shelling Kherson on Christmas Eve, launching mass missile and drone strikes on New Year. Their current “unilateral ceasefire” can not and should not be taken seriously.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) January 5, 2023
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address that Russia wants to use Orthodox Christmas “as a cover” to resupply and stop Ukrainian advances in the eastern Donbas region.
Speaking to reporters, US President Joe Biden said that Putin is trying to “find some oxygen” with the ceasefire announcement.
“He was ready to bomb hospitals and nurseries and churches on the 25th and New Year’s,” Biden told reporters Thursday.
“I mean, I think he’s trying to find some oxygen,” he added.