Russian President Vladimir Putin talks on the phone with David Shmelev, a seven-year-old child from Stavropol Krai region, who took part in the New Year Tree of Wishes nationwide charity campaign, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow on January 5, 2023. AFP
This is the first time Russia introduced a full ceasefire in Ukraine since the launch of the offensive in February last year.
The announcement comes following a request for a ceasefire during the religious holiday from Russia's 76-year-old Orthodox leader Patriarch Kirill.
"I instruct the defence minister of the Russian Federation to introduce from 12:00 (0900 GMT) on January 6, 2023 until 24:00 (2100 GMT) on January 7, 2023 a ceasefire along the entire line of contact between the sides in Ukraine," the Kremlin said in a statement.
"Given the fact that a large number of citizens professing Orthodoxy live in the areas of combat, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and give them the opportunity to attend church services on Christmas Eve, as well as on the Day of the Nativity of Christ," the statement added.
In a call with the Russian leader earlier Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pressed Putin to declare a "unilateral" ceasefire in Ukraine.