“There was no Christmas truce,” say civilians and soldiers in Ukraine

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The unilateral ceasefire decreed by Moscow in Ukraine will end at midnight, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Saturday. This truce is judged harshly by the Ukrainians interviewed by the special correspondent for France 24 on the ground, who also pointed out this Saturday that the attacks continued in the northeast, two kilometers from the front line.

The Russian Army has assured that it intends to maintain until the end of the day the unilateral ceasefire decreed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of Orthodox Christmas.

“Despite the artillery fire of the Ukrainian armed forces on populated areas and Russian positions, the Russian troops will continue with the implementation of the announced ceasefire regime until 24:00,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.


However, Ukrainian civilians and soldiers have assured France 24’s special field correspondent Mélina Huet that “the ceasefire simply does not exist.” Two kilometers from the front line, in the northeast of the country, our teams have also noticed that “the attacks are incessant from one side and the other,” she said.

The ceasefire is rejected by Ukraine, which accuses Moscow of wanting to buy time to allow its soldiers to rest and rearm.

In its daily briefing, the Russian Defense Ministry said its troops had merely returned attacks on Ukrainian fire. Moscow and kyiv accuse each other of bombing civilian areas.

Orthodox Christmas on both sides of the war

Putin went alone this Saturday, unlike previous years, to a religious service held on Christmas Eve in a Kremlin cathedral. In his Christmas message he praised the support given by the Russian Orthodox Church to Moscow’s forces fighting in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, hundreds of faithful attended a historic service on the occasion of Orthodox Christmas in the famous monastery of the Lavra of the kyiv Caves, formerly dependent on the Patriarchate of Moscow, but transferred to the heart of Ukraine as a result of the war.

For the first time, Epiphany of Ukraine, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church created in 2018-2019 after a split with the Russian Church, led a Christmas liturgy in the Assumption Cathedral of this 11th-century monastery, the largest in the country. .

© france24

London to host meeting on alleged war crimes in Ukraine

Justice ministers from around the world will meet in London in March to show their support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in its investigations into alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine, the British government announced Saturday.

Hosted by UK Attorney General Dominic Raab and his Dutch counterpart Dilan Yesilgöz-Zegerius, the meeting will be attended by ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan.

“Almost a year after the illegal invasion, the international community must give its strongest support to the ICC to hold war criminals to account for the atrocities we are witnessing,” said Dominic Raab, who is also Britain’s deputy prime minister. .

With Reuters and AFP

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Written by Editor TLN

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