Sunday Dec 10, 2023
Sunday Dec 10, 2023

Ukraine's frontlines witness artillery fire despite 'ceasefire'

2023 Jan 07, 16:36, Kyiv
Representative Image. (Photo Credit - ANI)

Despite the start of Moscow's order for its forces to maintain a unilateral ceasefire from mid-day in observance of the Russian holiday, there was an exchange of fire along the frontlines of Ukraine, Al Jazeera reported on Saturday.

The artillery shells were fired along the front lines in Ukraine's Bakhmut, Kreminna, and other locations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions on Friday.

Before the truce was to start at noon Moscow time, Russian rockets also rained down on civilian areas in the cities of Kherson and Kramatorsk (09:00 GMT). In the first three hours of the ostensible truce, Russian forces blasted Ukrainian positions 14 times and assaulted one settlement three times, according to Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the frontline eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, Al Jazeera reported.

Russian military attacked a fire department in Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine, before the deadline earlier on Friday, killing one rescue worker and injuring four others, according to the regional governor.

Earlier on Thursday, the Kremlin announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu to introduce a 36-hour ceasefire along the entire line of contact between the warring sides in Ukraine.

"Taking into account the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation to introduce from 12:00 January 6, 2023 until 24:00 January 7, 2023, a ceasefire along the entire line of contact between the parties in Ukraine," the statement read, as quoted by CNN.

Putin also called on Kyiv to declare a ceasefire so that a large number of Orthodox citizens living in areas of hostilities could attend church services on Orthodox Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, according to the statement. This came a few hours after Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church called for a temporary ceasefire, CNN reported.

Mykhailo Podolyak, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's key aide said Russia must leave "occupied territories" in Ukraine before any 'temporary truce'.

"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," said Podolyak, an adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine.

"Second. RF must leave the occupied territories -- only then will it have a 'temporary truce'. Keep hypocrisy to yourself," Podolyak said on Twitter


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