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World News

Orthodox Christmas ceasefire creates opportunity to stop 'continued grind of death' in Ukraine

by Sophie Drew

Vladimir Putin has called for a ceasefire in Ukraine to allow Russian soldiers to celebrate the Orthodox Christmas.

The move comes after recommendations from Russian Patriarch Kirill, who called for a pause to the conflict yesterday.

However, Ukraine has not agreed to the 36-hour truce. President Volodymyr Zelensky says the truce is an attempt to stop Ukraine’s progress in the east, instead of a genuine pause for religious reasons.

He believes Russia will use the opportunity to send more men and ammunitions to the Donbas.

John Cooper, director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, believes we shouldn’t let “cynicism and mistrust” stop the international community from seizing the opportunity to make peace between the warring nations.

He told Premier: “If you're invaded by another country, and the other country says – suddenly – ‘we're not going to fight,’ it would take a lot to stand up and go ‘okay, yes, we trust.’

“Actually, our own government has sent £3.8bn worth of economic and military aid.

“We've got our hands involved within this conflict; many other nations have as well.

“So we need to be bringing pressure to our governments to highlight to Ukraine and others, that there is a space for peace emerging.

“We need to grasp it, or this continued grind of death will continue.”

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