Putin Trying To ‘Find Some Oxygen’: Biden On Russia’s Christmas Ceasefire

Joe Biden, US President (FILE IMAGE)

Washington: After Kremlin ordered a two-day ceasefire in Ukraine, US President Joe Biden on Thursday said that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin is “trying to find some oxygen”.

Biden’s statement comes after Vladimir Putin directed the Russian Defence Sergey Shoigu to order a ceasefire in Ukraine from January 6 to January 7. He expressed scepticism about the ceasefire ordered by Putin in Ukraine for Orthodox Christmas services on January 6-7.

“I’m reluctant to respond (to) anything Putin says. I found it interesting. He was ready to bomb hospitals and nurseries and churches on the 25th and New Year’s,” CNN quoted US President Joe Biden as saying.

“I mean, I think he’s trying to find some oxygen,” he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced that the ceasefire will allow Orthodox Christians to attend services in Church on Christmas, according to the statement released by Kremlin on its website. Putin said that the decision was taken after Patriarch Kirill called for a temporary ceasefire in Ukraine.

“Taking into account the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defense 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 released on the Kremlin website said.

“Based on the fact that a large number of citizens professing Orthodoxy live in the combat areas, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and give them the opportunity to attend services on Christmas Eve, as well as on the Day of the Nativity of Christ,” it added.

After Putin’s announcement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak in a tweet said that Russian forces must leave the occupied regions of Ukraine and then announce a “temporary truce.” He stressed that Ukraine does not attack foreign territory and kill civilians.

Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted, “First. Ukraine doesn’t attack foreign territory & doesn’t kill civilians. As RF does. Ukraine destroys only members of the occupation army on its territory… Second. RF must leave the occupied territories – only then will it have a “temporary truce”. Keep hypocrisy to yourself.”

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