Zelensky’s office criticizes Orthodox Patriarch Kirill’s Christmas truce proposal
Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, called for a two-day cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine during the Eastern Orthodox Christmas celebration on January 6–7, so that Orthodox believers could attend Christmas church services.
In proposing the truce, the patriarch once again characterized the invasion as “infighting,” disparaging the Ukrainian identity and sovereignty.
The Ukrainian President’s Office responded with sharp criticism of the patriarch’s proposal. Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the Chief of Staff, tweeted it was nothing more than a “cynical trap and a piece of propaganda.”
Podolyak also accused the Russian Orthodox Church of acting as a “war propagandist” that assisted Russia’s militarization, encouraging mass murders and calling for a “genocide of Ukrainians.” In the same tweet, he stated that the Russian church has no authority in the eyes of Orthodox Christians worldwide.
Patriarch Kirill often talks about the war in his sermons, justifying the invasion, qualifying it as “infighting,” and calling the Russian Orthodox towards “spiritual mobilization.” These statements finally pushed the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to declare independence from the Moscow Patriarchy.