Russia shells UN mission during Putin’s ‘Christmas ceasefire’

8 January, 02:04 PM
UN flag (Photo:United Nations Peacekeeping/Facebook)

UN flag (Photo:United Nations Peacekeeping/Facebook)

A UN humanitarian mission in Zaporizhzhya Oblast came under fire from Russian invasion forces even as a “Christmas ceasefire” unilaterally declared by Russia was supposed to be in effect, the oblast's governor Oleksandr Starukh said on national television on Dec. 8.

"The aggressor side, which had promised to cease firing, even shelled a UN humanitarian mission that was bringing aid to the town of Orikhiv," Starukh said.

Orikhive is a Ukrainian-held town near the frontline in Zaporizhzhya Oblast, much of the south of which is occupied by Russian invasion forces.

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Although Russia declared unilaterally that it would observe a ceasefire for the period of Orthodox Christmas from noon on Jan. 6 to midnight on Jan. 7, in reality Russian invasion forces continued to attack both civilian and military targets all through the religious holiday.

Only about one hour and 45 minutes into the claimed “Christmas ceasefire,” the launch in Belarus of a Russian MiG-31K warplane – one capable of firing nuclear-tipped, hypersonic cruise missiles – triggered a countrywide air raid alert in Ukraine.

And amid shelling attacks on town along the front line, two civilians were killed and 13 more injured as a result of a Russian attack on the front-line town of Bakhmut on Jan. 6. Russian attacks on other towns carried on overnight and throughout the day on Jan. 7.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to “introduce a ceasefire” along the front lines in Ukraine from 12:00 p.m. Jan. 6 until 12:00 a.m. Jan. 7 (Moscow time – the times were an hour earlier in Ukraine).

The decision was said to have been in answer to the appeals of one of Putin’s regime cronies – the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill – as well as Putin's own alleged concern for the religious community.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on Jan. 7 that the Russian-declared “ceasefire” had turned out to be a lie, as the Russian invasion forces continued to shell and attack Ukrainian settlements throughout the time of the supposed “truce.”

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