Russia Ends ‘Ceasefire’
Russia has declared the ‘ceasefire’ that had been in place for 36 hours during the Orthodox Christmas celebrations to be over. Moscow again announced that it would continue its so-called “military special operation” until victory over Ukraine.
Shortly after midnight Moscow time, the governor of the Kharkiv region of Ukraine reported bomb attacks in which at least one person had been killed via the short message service Telegram.
Ukraine’s General Staff said Russian troops had earlier used cruise missiles, fired 20 volleys of rockets and targeted residential areas in the northeast, east and south of the country. Local AFP journalists reported that the eastern Ukrainian city of Chasiv Yar was under heavy artillery fire throughout the morning. The few remaining residents, therefore, preferred to celebrate Christmas mass in a protective cellar instead of in the church.
The authorities also reported several explosions around the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. “Attention to the residents of Kharkiv and the region: stay in shelters. The occupiers are striking again!” wrote Governor Oleh Synehubov on Telegram on Saturday evening. According to initial information, there is one fatality, Synehubov said.
Almost immediately after 10:00 p.m. CET, an air alert was issued in the Poltava, Dnipropetrovsk, and Zaporizhia regions, as well as on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which Russia annexed.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared the ceasefire ordered by Putin a failure. “The world was able to see once again how false statements from Moscow are at every level,” he said in his video message on Saturday evening – shortly before the promised ceasefire period announced by Putin was to end officially.
“They said something about an alleged ceasefire, but the reality is that Russian shells again hit Bakhmut and other Ukrainian positions,” Zelenskyy said.
According to British intelligence, the fighting is continuing at the usual level. According to the daily summary report from the British Ministry of Defence, one of the hardest-fought areas is still around the city of Kreminna in the Luhansk region. “For the past three weeks, fighting around Kreminna has concentrated on the densely forested area west of the city.”