Moscow has said no “Christmas ceasefire” was on the cards after nearly 10 months of war in Ukraine, with fighting looking set to drag on through the winter.
“There is no calm on the frontline,” the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said in his regular evening video address on Wednesday. “Every day and every metre is given extremely hard. And especially where the entire tactic of the occupiers boils down to the destruction of everything in front of them with artillery – so that only bare ruins and craters in the ground remain.”
Asked on Wednesday whether Moscow had seen proposals for a “Christmas ceasefire”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “No, no such offers have been received from anybody. This topic is not on the agenda.”
Zelenskiy had called on Russia this week to start withdrawing its troops by Christmas as the first step towards a peace deal, but Peskov said on Tuesday there would be no peace with Kyiv until Zelenskiy accepted the “realities” on the ground – referring to Russian control over parts of four Ukrainian regions it annexed in September following coercive and illegal “referendums”.