Ukraine updates: Russia says cease-fire comes into effect

The unilateral truce, which has been met with skepticism by Kyiv, is slated to be implemented for 36-hours. Meanwhile, some German politicians are calling for battle tank deliveries to Ukraine

Ukraine updates: Russia says cease-fire comes into effect
Ukraine updates: Russia says cease-fire comes into effect


A Kremlin-ordered cease-fire in Ukraine has come into effect, Russian state media reported Friday.

"At noon today, the cease-fire regime came into force on the entire contact line," Russia's state media First Channel reported.

Russian Vladimir Putin ordered the cease-fire, based on the guidance of Russian influential Orthodox bishop Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.

The cease-fire will last until the end of January 7, in accordance with Orthodox Christmas.

It's unclear whether Russian forces will actually follow through with the cease-fire. The Kremlin ordered the truce to begin at 12:00 p.m., but did not specify which time zone they were referring to.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed skepticism regarding the Kremlin's intentions.

"Now they want to use Christmas as a cover to stop the advance of our guys in the (eastern) Donbas (region) for a while and bring equipment, ammunition and mobilized people closer to our positions," Zelenskyy said, referring to Russia.

Kramatorsk, near the front line in the eastern Donetsk region, was hit with Russian shelling early on Friday.

"Kramatorsk is under fire. Stay in shelters," Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko said in a social media post.

Here are the other main headlines from the war in Ukraine on Friday, January 6

German politicians urge delivery of battle tanks to Ukraine

Some German politicians are calling for the delivery of battle tanks to Ukraine, after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government said it would send Marder infantry vehicles to the country.

German Green Party lawmaker Anton Hofreiter said Berlin should sent German-built Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. The Green Party is part of Scholz's three-party coalition government.

The Leopard 2 tanks are heavier than the Marder infantry vehicles, and armed with a battle cannon.

"The strategy must be that we support Ukraine with everything they need on the battlefield and this includes much more," Hofreiter said.

Since Germany is the main producer of the Leopard 2, he called for a European initiative to deliver the battle tanks and deliver Ukraine everything they need to take back land from Russia.

Hofreiter said one to step to take would be training Ukrainian soldiers to operate the Leopard 2 tanks, which should commence immediately.

Alexander Dobrindt, a member of the German parliament belonging to the opposition Christian Social Union (CSU), also called for the deliveries of Leopard 2 tanks.

"We see that the Ukrainian soldiers simply need these weapons for self-defense," Dobrindt said.

In addition to armored Marder carriers, Germany also vowed to provide Ukraine with a Patriot missile battery for air defense.

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