Russia shells Kramatorsk and Kherson ahead of unilateral Christmas ceasefire

Ukraine Russia
Russian soldiers guard an area as a group of foreign journalists visit in Kherson, Kherson region, south Ukraine, Friday, May 20, 2022. The Kherson region has been under control of the Russian forces since the early days of the Russian military action in Ukraine. This photo was taken during a trip organized by the Russian Ministry of Defense. (AP Photo) AP

Russia shells Kramatorsk and Kherson ahead of unilateral Christmas ceasefire

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Russian forces shelled two Ukrainian cities on Friday, just hours ahead of the Kremlin’s supposed Christmas ceasefire, which the West and Kyiv dismissed as a ploy.

The Kremlin announced a 36-hour ceasefire on Thursday that coincides with the Orthodox celebration of Christmas, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address, “Everyone in the world knows how the Kremlin uses respites at war to continue the war with renewed vigor.”

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Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidency of Ukraine, said that in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, “occupants hit the city twice with rockets. A private residential building was hit,” and that “at least 4 explosions were recorded” in Kherson, in the southern part of the country. “A house in the private sector was burning next to the shelled fire station.”

At least four people were killed in Kherson on Thursday from Russian attacks. A family of three was killed in their home in the city of Beryslav due to shelling, said Tymoshenko. A teenager was also killed.

“This is all the baseness and meanness of Russia. In the morning, they talk about the ‘Christmas ceasefire,’ and in the afternoon they kill the whole family. What did the husband, wife and their 12-year-old son do wrong? The fact that they are just Ukrainians?” Tymoshenko wrote on Telegram, referencing Patriarch Kirill’s call for a temporary ceasefire for Orthodox Christmas, which the Kremlin ultimately agreed.

Kremlin officials have repeatedly said one thing while giving contradictory orders to the troops, prompting skepticism from the west and Kyiv.

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President Joe Biden also responded skeptically toward the supposed Christmas ceasefire.

“I’m reluctant to respond to anything Putin says,” the president explained. “I found it interesting. He was ready to bomb hospitals and nurseries and churches and on the 25th and New Year’s. And, I mean, I think he’s trying to find some oxygen.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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