Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered his armed forces to observe a unilateral 36-hour cease-fire in Ukraine this weekend for the Orthodox Christmas holiday, the first such sweeping truce move in the nearly 11-month-old war. Kyiv indicated it won’t follow suit.
Putin did not appear to make his cease-fire order conditional on Ukraine’s acceptance, and it wasn’t clear whether hostilities would actually halt on the 1,100-kilometer (684-mile) front line or elsewhere.
Ukrainian officials have previously dismissed such Russian moves as playing for time to regroup their invasion forces and prepare additional attacks.
At various points during the war that began Feb. 24, Russian authorities have ordered limited, local truces to allow civilian evacuations or other humanitarian purposes. Thursday’s order was the first time Putin has directed his troops to observe a cease-fire throughout Ukraine.