Day 316: Ukraine Rejects Orthodox Christmas Ceasefire

    Day 316: Ukraine Rejects Orthodox Christmas Ceasefire
    Last updated Jan 05, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters [via Reuters]


    • For the first time since the conflict began last February, Ukraine is set to receive French and American armored vehicles following announcements from presidents Macron and Biden on Wednesday. Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Western counterparts but pressed them to provide tanks — which are used primarily to break enemy lines, while armored vehicles are fighting vehicles that transport larger numbers of soldiers.[1]
    • Without specifying numbers, France's Macron said his country would be sending Ukraine the AMX-10 RC and Bastion armored vehicles.[2]
    • In his nightly address, Zelenskyy thanked Macron and added: "This is what sends a clear signal to all our other partners: there is no rational reason why Ukraine has not yet been supplied with Western-type tanks. And this is very important to restore security for all Ukrainians and peace for all Europeans."[3]
    • Biden's announcement that the US would be sending Bradley armored vehicles came after Zelenskyy's address, but also made no mention of tanks — namely, Abrams tanks which Zelenskyy has previously called for.[4]
    • However, on Wednesday, Poland signed a $1.4B agreement to purchase its second batch of US M1A1 Abrams tanks. US officials said Poland was the first European ally to be receiving the equipment.[5]
    • Meanwhile, with weeks of the heaviest fighting taking place around the Donetsk city of Bakhmut, with heavy losses for Russia and Ukraine, an unnamed US administration official told Reuters that, according to its intelligence, heavy fighting is likely to persist for the foreseeable future, with the outcome uncertain as Russians have made incremental progress.[6]
    • Over the past day, Ukraine's armed forces said it destroyed two Russian munitions depots near Bakhmut as well as one in Lyman and one in Avdiivka. The claim couldn't be independently confirmed.[7]
    • Elsewhere, heavy Russian shelling continued to be reported in the Kherson region where four civilians were reported killed and three others were injured in attacks over the past day. One civilian also died in Dnipropetrovsk; three civilians were killed and three more were injured in Russian attacks on Zaporizhzhia; and in Kharkiv, one person was killed and two more were injured in a mine explosion.[8]
    • Meanwhile, as Christmas Eve approaches on Jan. 6 in Eastern Orthodoxy, Ukraine has rejected a Russian-proposed ceasefire following calls from Russia's head of its orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill. The proposed détente was set to last 36 hours from midday Moscow time on Friday, to midnight of the following day.[9]


    Anti-Russia narrative

    Russia's Patriarch Kirill is not an authority in global orthodoxy, and worse, he has openly supported Putin's invasion of Ukraine. The proposed ceasefire was nothing but a cynical trap and Russian propaganda.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    As countries that predominantly follow the Eastern Orthodox tradition, Russia and Ukraine should observe the ceasefire so that people can safely celebrate and worship on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 3% chance that Russia will be removed from the UN Security Council by 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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