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Putin Orders a Surprise 36-Hour Cease-Fire for Orthodox Christmas

  • Ukraine dismisses offer as ‘propaganda;’ Biden skeptical
  • Russian forces have been losing ground for months in fighting
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir PutinPhotographer: Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images
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Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to cease fighting in Ukraine for 36 hours starting Friday at noon, Moscow time, but Kyiv quickly dismissed the move as a ploy, unlikely to slow a conflict that’s heading for its second year.

The Kremlin said Putin gave the order Thursday for Russian Orthodox Christmas. It follows an appeal by the patriarch of that church, which has close ties to the Kremlin.