The ceasefire as well aa Putin renewing his call for peace talks might suggest that 11 months of the war is telling on the aggressor Russia
The ceasefire to mark Orthodox Christmas ordered by Vladimir Putin, at the behest of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill, who the Pope warned was becoming the Russian President’s “altar boy”, might take on a bit of relevance if it leads to the idea of peace in Ukraine.
The call for a ceasefire to mark Orthodox Christmas, which falls on Jan. 7 because they follow the Julian calendar, shan’t be heeded by the Ukrainians who see it as a cynical ploy after Mr Putin had bombed Ukraine through Dec. 25 and the New Year, despite calls for cessation of hostilities. The Ukrainians claim thousands had died over Christmas and New Year in Russian bombing.
The ceasefire as well as Mr Putin renewing his call this week for peace talks might suggest that 11 months of the war is telling on the aggressor Russia as well while ripping out 30 per cent of Ukraine’s economy and causing untold damage to civilian infrastructure. It is being cynically said that the 36-hour ceasefire to Saturday midnight has come because Russia is running out of ready ammunition to keep pounding Ukraine.
The military industrial complex of the West must be pleased as Punch as the US, UK and Germany are pouring arms into Ukraine to help it defend itself. The situation is not without pressure building on Putin and the Russians as clever Ukrainian strikes in occupied areas have led to scores of Russian soldiers dying in more than the one major incident in Donetsk that Russia officially acknowledged.
The rest of the world would heave a huge sigh of relief if a peace initiative were to promise a breakthrough after the ravages of war are stretching into 2023. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had limited success in such matters as prisoner exchanges and both Kyiv and Moscow are talking to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Can they convince Mr Putin that it is time he gives a chance for peace in a war seemingly without an end?