Ukraine: West wants to 'divide' Russia, Putin says | War in Ukraine

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Ukraine: The West wants to “divide”Russia, Putin says | War in Ukraine

The Russian president has again accused kyiv and its Western allies of “refusing talks” of peace.

The West seeks to “divide” Russia in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin denounced on Sunday, while the Kremlin's military offensive in its neighbor, which has lasted for more than ten months, must according to him allow “the x27;union of the Russian people”.

In kyiv, the Ukrainian Orthodox celebrate Christmas, a strong sign of defiance towards the Russian religious authorities, who will celebrate the birth of Jesus- Christ in two weeks.

Everything is based on the policy of our geopolitical adversaries, who aim to divide Russia, historical Russia, denounced Vladimir Putin in an interview, a short extract of which was broadcast on Russian television on Sunday.

“Divide and conquer: they have always tried to do this, they are trying to do this now, but our goal is quite different: to unite the Russian people.

—Vladimir Putin

The Russian president had already justified the military intervention in Ukraine on several occasions by the need to bring together Ukrainians and Russians, who would form one and the same people, in his eyes.

According to Vladimir Putin, the Russian army is moving in the right direction in Ukraine.

The Russian president once again denounced the position of kyiv and its Western allies, who refuse talks, reaffirming himself ready to negotiate with all the participants in this process to [obtain] acceptable results.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has for his part swept aside the possibility of talks with Moscow in recent months, saying he does not want to start talks with Russia as long as Putin will be president.

He also swore to take back the four Ukrainian regions annexed by Russia at the end of September – Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia, Kherson – as well as the Crimean peninsula, annexed in 2014 by Moscow.

This week, Volodymyr Zelensky left his visit to the United States with an envelope of 45 billion dollars in aid planned in the next American federal budget and, above all, with the imminent delivery of a defense system anti-aircraft Patriot, which kyiv had been demanding for several weeks.

Vladimir Putin, in the excerpt from the interview broadcast on Russian television on Sunday, however, swore that he wanted to eliminate this equipment from the battlefield.

Of course, we let's destroy it, [that's for sure] 100%! he launched three days after saying that his army would find an antidote to counter this rather old system.

The Ukrainian president denounced Russian “terror” after a bombing that killed several people in Kherson, which kyiv forces recaptured in November.

On the ground, a series of Russian strikes hit downtown Kherson on Saturday, a city in southern Ukraine liberated on November 11 after eight months of occupation by Moscow troops.

The central market and adjacent streets were bombed, killing at least 10 and injuring 55 on Christmas Eve, an act of terror, according to Mr. Zelensky.

Over the day, Russia fired 41 missiles at the city, according to a morning report from the Ukrainian army.

Vladimir Saldo, the head of the pro-Russian administration in Kherson, meanwhile blamed the attack on the Ukrainian army, castigating a sickening provocation of course intended to blame the armed forces of the Russian Federation .

On Sunday in the Ukrainian capital, kyiv, Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas alongside Catholics, two weeks ahead of the traditional celebrations.

The war has brought us a lot of grief, says to AFP a faithful, Olga Stanko, in a church in the city center. You can't stay under Russian influence, she adds, as the military conflict has shifted to religious terrain in recent weeks.

Ukraine, a country whose population is predominantly Orthodox, is indeed divided between a Church that depends on the Moscow Patriarchate – which announced that it was severing its ties with Russia at the end of May due to the Russian offensive. – and a Church independent of Russian tutelage.

Created at the end of 2018, the latter has pledged allegiance to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which has its headquarters in Istanbul.

Church bells and Kievan chants rang out across the Ukrainian capital as Orthodox Christians attended Christmas services on the 25th December 2022, a provocative break with the Russian spiritual leaders who will celebrate this holiday in two weeks.

According to an Interfax-Ukraine poll carried out in November, 44% of Ukrainians said they approved of the ;idea of ​​celebrating Christmas on December 25 rather than January 7, the date of the Orthodox Christmas.

During his traditional Christmas message, in St. Peter's Square in Rome, Pope Francis said meanwhile called to silence the guns on Ukrainian soil.

May the Lord make us ready for concrete gestures of solidarity to help those who suffer and may he enlighten the sprit of those with the power to silence the guns and end this senseless war immediately! declared the sovereign pontiff.

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