Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
President Vladimir Putin at Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem, January 23, 2020.

The besieged people of Ukraine may get a short break from the incessant onslaught of Russian missile and kamikaze drone attacks this weekend.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has ordered his forces to stand by a 36-hour cease fire in Ukraine this weekend in deference to the Russian Orthodox Christmas holiday that takes place this Saturday.


The temporary truce was proposed on Thursday by Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, call on all parties involved in the internecine conflict to establish a Christmas ceasefire from 12:00 pm Moscow time on January 6 to 12:00 am on January 7 so that Orthodox people can attend church services on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day,” Kirill said in his statement.

It’s not entirely clear, however, whether the planned cease fire will actually take place, nor what the Ukrainian forces will do in response even if it does.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak dismissed the idea of a truce in a statement posted on Twitter.

“First. Ukraine doesn’t attack foreign territory and doesn’t kill civilians. As RF [Russian Federation] does. Ukraine destroys only members of the occupation army on its territory.

“Second. RF must leave the occupied territories — only then will it have a ‘temporary truce’. Keep hypocrisy to yourself,” Podolyak wrote.

The Ukrainian official called the announcement a “cynical trap” and an “element of propaganda.” He vowed that “no one will stop” until Russian forces “flee from Ukraine, return the houses and apartments stolen from Ukrainians in Crimea … [and] learn the meaning of the concept of ‘international law.'”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.