Zelensky fears Putin is laying trap with truce as he rejects order

Volodymyr Zelensky thanks Americans in speech to US Congress

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Ukraine will not heed Putin’s calls for a 36-hour ceasefire, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said, because the call is a disingenuous one using “Christmas as a cover”. In his nightly address on Thursday, Mr Zelensky dismissed Putin’s announcement as nothing but an attempt to “stop the advances of our boys in Donbas” as well as use the break to “bring equipment, ammunition and mobilised troops closer to” Ukrainian positions on the frontline.



  • Ukrainian President rejects Putin’s calls for a 36-hour ceasefire 07:50
  • Ceasefire ‘will do nothing for peace’, claims UK foreign minister

    UK foreign secretary James Cleverly has said Vladimir Putin’s calls for a 36-hour ceasefire “will do nothing” to help broker peace longer term in Ukraine. 

    Speaking on Twitter, he called on Russia to “permanently withdraw its forces”, lending his full support to the people of Ukraine. 

    He said: “A 36 hour pause of Russian attacks will do nothing to advance the prospects for peace. 

    “Russia must permanently withdraw its forces, relinquish its illegal control of Ukrainian territory and end its barbaric attacks against innocent civilians.”

    US calls Putin’s ceasefire proposal ‘cynical’

    Russia’s attempts to halt the frontline fighting in Ukraine for 36 hours under the guise of honouring Orthodox Christian Christmas on January 7 are “cynical” at best, a spokesman for the US state department has said. 

    Ned Price, a representative of the state department, dismissed Putin’s announcement, saying they had “little faith” in its apparent concern for the wellbeing of those on the frontline. 

    His comments followed US President Joe Biden’s rejection of the authenticity of the ceasefire. Mr Biden accused Putin of “trying to find some oxygen” while his forces were struggling to retain territory in Ukraine. 

    Mr Biden added: “I found in interesting, [Putin] was ready to bomb hospitals and nurseries and churches on the 25th and New Year’s.”  

    Mr Price echoed the sentiment of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his state department brief, telling reporters: “We have little faith in the intentions behind this announcement. I think we know better than to take anything we see or hear from Russia at face value.” 

    He added that Russia would likely use the pause in fighting “to rest, to refit, to regroup and ultimately to re-attack”.

    Ukrainian President rejects Putin’s calls for a 36-hour ceasefire

    Volodymyr Zelensky has emphatically rejected Putin’s calls for a 36-hour Christmas ceasefire, which would have been effective from midday today (10am GMT). 

    He accused the Kremlin of using the break to “continue the war with renewed vigour” by repositioning troops closer to vital points on the frontline and replenishing dwindling munitions stockpiles. 

    Pointedly speaking in Russian, Mr Zelensky added that a ceasefire could only happen when Putin “ended your country’s aggression … when your soldiers leave or we throw them out”. 

    He said: “Those who continued the terror against our country and sent all those people of yours to the slaughter, rejecting our offers to stop the Russian aggression, certainly do not value life and definitely do not seek peace.

    “Now they want to use Christmas as a cover to at least briefly stop the advance of our guys in Donbas and bring equipment, ammunition and mobilised men closer to our positions. What will this bring? Just another increase in the death toll.

    “Everyone in the world knows how the Kremlin uses respites at war to continue the war with renewed vigour. 

    “You don’t give Ukrainians any respite. People are tortured, electrocuted, raped. This continues every day while your soldiers are on our soil.”

     You can read the nightly address in full here

    Good morning

    Good morning from London. I’m Tom Watling, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

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