- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Putin Orders Orthodox Christmas Ceasefire Across Ukraine January 6-7

© Sputnik / Vitaly Ankov / Go to the mediabankRussia celebrates Orthodox Christmas
Russia celebrates Orthodox Christmas - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.01.2023
Earlier in the day, Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church called on "all parties involved in the internecine conflict" in Ukraine to agree to a Christmas truce, "so that Orthodox people can attend services on Christmas Eve and the day of Christ's birth."
President Vladimir Putin has ordered a ceasefire on Orthodox Christmas Eve and Christmas Day along the entire front line of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.
"In light of 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 pm on January 6 to 24:00 on January 7 of this year," the presidential decree, released by the Kremlin's press service, reads.
Most Orthodox Christians, including Russian and Ukrainian parishioners, celebrate Christmas on January 7, in accordance with the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar.
"Given that a large number of citizens practicing the Orthodox faith live in areas where hostilities are taking place, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire, and give them the opportunity to attend services on Christmas Eve, as well as the Day of the Nativity of Christ," the order adds.
The Russian military confirmed later Thursday that in accordance with the president's decree, a ceasefire will be implemented across the line of contact for 36 hours from noon on January 6 to midnight on January 7.
Ukrainian authorities dismissed Patriarch Kirill's ceasefire appeal earlier in the day, with presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak accusing the Russian Orthodox Church of acting as a "propagandist of war" and "calling for the genocide of Ukrainians." Podolyak characterized Kirill's request as "a cynical trap and a piece of propaganda," and said the Russian Orthodox Church was "not an authority for global Orthodoxy."
Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Kiev - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.04.2022
Russian Orthodox Priests From Ukraine Seek Work in Canadian Parishes - Archbishop
Ukraine's successive post-2014 coup governments have taken a series of highly-politicized measures to try to restrict the activities of the Russian Orthodox Church, and created an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 2018. In November 2022, lawmakers introduced a bill to ban the Russian Orthodox Church outright, citing its activities as a "threat to national security" and accusing it of conducting "anti-Ukrainian and subversive activities." President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree in December imposing sanctions against clergy of all religious organizations with ties to Russia.
Over 70 percent of Ukrainians consider themselves Orthodox Christians, with the Moscow Patriarchate of the Church accounting for up to 39 percent of all believers in 2017. The Ukrainian government estimates their numbers to be much smaller, citing figures of as low as 12-15 percent. About 70 percent of Russians identify as Orthodox Christians.
Ukraine's Orthodox community has sounded the alarm about recent persecution by the government, including Ukrainian Security Service raids on churches and monasteries, and vandalism and arson attacks by unknown assailants.
The "Christmas Truce" ordered by Putin comes as Russia's special military operation in Ukraine enters its eleventh month. The conflict, which Russia says was sparked by Ukraine's imminent plans to launch a full-scale assault on Donbass, has cost tens of thousands of lives, caused widespread dislocation, and resulted in an energy crisis throughout most of Europe. So far, US energy companies and weapons manufacturers have been the only beneficiaries of the crisis, and Washington could soon benefit from the influx of European manufacturers as energy costs make it too expensive for them to produce their products at home.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала