Thursday, October 5, 2023
25 C
Brunei Town
- Advertisement -

Kremlin-ordered truce uncertain amid suspicion

KYIV, UKRAINE (AP) – The impact of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order for his forces in Ukraine to observe a unilateral, 36-hour cease-fire was in doubt yesterday after Kyiv officials dismissed the move as a ploy but didn’t clarify whether Ukrainian troops would follow suit.

Moscow also didn’t say whether it would hit back if Ukraine kept fighting.

The Russian-declared truce in the nearly 11-month war was due to begin at noon yesterday and continue through midnight today Moscow time.

Putin’s announcement on Thursday that the Kremlin’s troops would stop fighting along the 1,100-kilometre front line or elsewhere was unexpected.

But Ukrainian and Western officials suspected an ulterior motive in Putin’s apparent goodwill gesture.

A view of an apartment building damaged during heavy fighting in Mariupol, in Russian-controlled Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine. PHOTO: AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy questioned the Kremlin’s intentions, accusing the Kremlin of planning the fighting pause “to continue the war with renewed vigour”.

He did not, however, state outright that Kyiv would ignore Putin’s request.

United States (US) President Joe Biden echoed Zelenskyy’s wariness, saying it was “interesting” that Putin was ready to bomb hospitals, nurseries and churches on Christmas and new year’s. “I think (Putin) is trying to find some oxygen,” Biden said, without elaborating.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington had “little faith in the intentions behind this announcement”, adding that Kremlin officials “have given us no reason to take anything that they offer at face value”.

The truce order seems to be a ploy “to rest, refit, regroup, and ultimately re-attack,” he said.

- Advertisement -

Latest article