Russia’s Orthodox Christmas Truce Violated

Saturday, January 7, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , ,

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

KYIV/MOSCOW (Worthy News) – Air raid alerts were heard across Ukraine hours after Russia declared a temporary ceasefire along the Ukrainian frontline to mark Orthodox Christmas.

There were also reports of shootings as Kyiv called the truce “a trick” by Moscow to halt Ukraine’s military advances.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow “want to use Christmas as a cover, albeit briefly, to stop the advances of our boys in Donbas and bring equipment, ammunitions and mobilized troops closer to our positions.”

The Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak called Russia’s declaration a “hypocrisy.” He spoke as Orthodox Christians, including those living in Russia and Ukraine, began celebrating Christmas on January 6-7.

Since the war began, some Ukrainians choose to celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar rather than the Julian one still used by the Russian Orthodox Church.

As fighting continued, Christians in the eastern occupied Ukrainian town of Volnovakha on Friday marked the Russian Orthodox Christmas Eve in a makeshift chapel. It was set up in a home after their church suffered shelling damage, footage showed.

Vera Barda, 74, said the congregation had met in a tent after the church was hit during clashes between Russian and Ukrainian forces.

“I offered the priest (my place) saying there was a stove and electricity, so it was warmer than in a tent … he agreed at once, and in three weeks we restored everything,” she said in comments shared by Reuters news agency.

During the service, carried out in a converted cramped room decked out in icons, an Orthodox priest dressed in a ceremonial white robe.

He burned incense while the mainly elderly congregation made the sign of the cross.

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