KYIV: Russian and Ukrainian artillery are said to have exchanged artillery fire in eastern Ukraine despite Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering his troops to observe a 36-hour ceasefire in conjunction with the Orthodox Christmas holiday.
An exchange of artillery fire between the two sides reportedly took place along the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the city of Kreminna and other locations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, yesterday.
Russian rockets also rained down on residential areas in the cities of Kherson and Kramatorsk before a ceasefire was scheduled to begin at noon on Friday.
A Ukrainian soldier told Reuters that there was no point in implementing a ceasefire, instead artillery fire continued in Kreminna.
“What does the ceasefire mean? did you hear that (the sound of cannon fire)?
“What do they want to achieve if they keep shooting? We already know and we have learned not to trust them,” said the soldier.
As proof, the AFP journalists themselves claimed to have heard the sound of cannon fire in the city of Bakhmut after the ceasefire started yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that its military forces were observing a ceasefire from noon yesterday along the entire line of contact, but Ukraine continued to shell populated areas and military positions.
The police officer in Bakhmut, Pavlo Diachenko said, he was very concerned with the ceasefire.
“What does it mean to have a ‘church holiday’ for them?
Putin announced yesterday a 36-hour ceasefire despite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying he would not abide by the unilateral action.
Zelenskyy is very skeptical of the move, which is considered to be a Russian trick to bring more troops into the conquered territories in addition to blocking the ‘advance’ of its army. –Al Jazeera
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