‘What ceasefire?’: shells fly at Ukraine front despite Putin’s truce

  • Putin ordered a ceasefire until Russia’s Christmas Day
  • Ukraine says Russia is trying to buy time to strike
  • Washington gives the Bradleys a $3.75 billion weapons package

NEAR KREMINNA, Ukraine, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged fire on the front line in Ukraine on Friday, even after Moscow said it had ordered its troops to stop shooting for one point that was canceled by Kyiv.

President Vladimir Putin ordered a 36-hour ceasefire from midday on Friday to mark Russia’s Christmas Day. Ukraine has said it has no intention of ending hostilities, rejecting accusations that Moscow is trying to buy time to rebuild troops that have suffered heavy casualties this week.

“What a truce? Do you hear that?” said a Ukrainian soldier, who uses the nom de guerre Vyshnya, as an explosion occurred far from the front line near Kreminna in eastern Ukraine. “What do they want if they keep shooting? We know, we’ve learned not to trust them.”

Russia’s defense ministry said its forces began observing a cease-fire from midday Moscow time (0900 GMT) “all along the alliance”, but Ukraine said it maintained the bullets at residential areas and military posts.

Reuters heard explosions Ukrainian soldiers on the front line attributed to Russian missile fire. The Ukrainians returned from the tanks.

The Ukrainian military said it was calmer than other days because the snow made it difficult to fly and see targets. But they saw no sign of a Russian ceasefire.

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“The situation today is the same as yesterday, the day before yesterday, last week and last month,” said one, hiding his face with a scarf. “There is no point in talking to them, believing in their promises, their commands and their decisions.”

It was not possible to determine whether the intensity of the fighting had decreased elsewhere.

A witness in the Russian-occupied regional capital of Donetsk, nearby, also described gunfire coming from pro-Russian positions in the countryside of the city after means that the termination is valid.

The Ukrainian governor of the front-line Luhansk region in the east, Serhiy Haidai, said that in the first three hours of the ceasefire the Russians had fired 14 times. areas of Ukraine, a village was destroyed three times.

“Orthodox murderers wish you a merry Christmas,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging application.


Washington unveiled its new $3.75 billion military aid package for Ukraine and its war-affected allies, and for the first time delivered to Kyiv US Army Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The package includes $2.85 billion in arms for Ukraine and hundreds of millions to help replenish the stockpiles of allies that supply their own weapons.

It was a week when Germany and France promised armored vehicles, finally meeting one of Kyiv’s most pressing demands from its allies, for Russia’s anti-tank weapons in mechanized warfare.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who campaigned for the Bradleys in Washington last month on his first trip abroad since the start of the war, said Friday they were “necessary”.

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The US package also includes Sea Sparrow air defense missiles, while Germany’s includes Patriot missiles, which Washington deployed last month.

Shortly before the start of the ceasefire, rockets hit a residential building in Kramatorsk, close to the front line in the east, destroying 14 homes, although there were no casualties as many had fled. .

“It’s bad, really bad,” said Oleksnadr, 36, who was outside the supermarket at the time of the attack. “We have to plead with them, to leave, maybe even more air defense systems. This happens many times, not just at celebrations. Every day.”

A rescue worker was killed and four others were injured when Russian forces shelled a fire station south of the Ukrainian city of Kherson before a deadline on Friday, the governor of the border. Reuters could not verify this.

CHRIST is the covering

Zelenskiy dismissed the Russian arms embargo out of hand as a move for Russia to buy time after continuing crippling casualties on the front line.

“They now want to use Christmas as a cover, however short, to stop the advance of our boys … and to bring equipment, ammunition and mobilized troops closer to our places,” Zelenskiy said in a video message Thursday night.

Russia has suffered many casualties in recent days, including the death of many soldiers on New Year’s Eve in a major military disaster it has admitted to its own forces.

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Despite the ceasefire, pro-Russian leaders said they would continue fighting if Ukraine did. Denis Pushilin, the leader Russia installed in Donetsk, said on Thursday that Putin’s order would only cover the atrocities, and that his forces would return to firing.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, starting a war that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions of Ukrainians. With weapons and financial support from the United States and Europe, Ukraine has pushed Russia out of some of its territory but wars are raging in the east and south.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s army said its troops had repelled Russian attacks in the past day, with Moscow focusing on trying to take over the city of Donetsk.

“The enemy is focusing on its main efforts to try to establish control over the Donetsk region” without success, the General Staff said in a statement, adding that Ukraine had released and Russia several air strikes in the past day.

The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7. The main Orthodox Church in Ukraine has rejected Moscow’s authority, and many Ukrainian faiths have changed their calendar to celebrate Christmas on December 25th, as in the West.

Reuters bureaus reporting Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Angus MacSwan, Nick Macfie and Grant McCool

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters’ Guardian Principles.


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