Christmas, the biggest religious event in Christianity, was not closed even during the Ukraine-Russia war. However, President Vladimir Putin had previously pledged to keep the door open to talks. Ukraine’s military claims its forces launched more than 40 missile strikes on Kabur on Christmas Day. Reuters news.

Earlier, three Russian soldiers were killed when Ukrainian troops attacked a base in Russia’s Saratov region, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. This is the second attack on the base this month. The base is located near the city of Saratov, about 730 km southeast of Moscow and several hundred kilometers from Ukraine’s front lines. The attack was carried out here on December 5.

On Sunday, Putin again said he was open to talks and blamed Ukraine and its Western allies for failing to engage in talks. The position has previously been rejected by the United States as a gesture of relentless Russian aggression.

In an interview on Russian state television, Putin said, ‘We are ready to discuss an acceptable solution with all involved, but it depends on them – we are not refusing to discuss.’

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Putin needs to come back to reality and admit that Russia is not the only one who wants talks.

Adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said on Twitter, ‘Russia has unilaterally invaded Ukraine and is killing citizens. Russia does not want talks, but is trying to avoid responsibility.’

Russian attacks on power stations in Ukraine left millions of residents without power, and Zelensky said Moscow would aim to make the final days of 2022 dark and difficult.

‘Russia has lost everything it could do this year,’ he said in a Christmas Day speech. … I know the darkness will not prevent us from leading the occupiers to new defeats. But we have to be prepared for any situation.’

Ukraine traditionally celebrates Christmas on January 7, as does Russia.

But this year some Orthodox Ukrainians decided to celebrate on December 25, and Ukrainian officials, including Zelensky and the Ukrainian prime minister, issued Christmas greetings on Sunday.

(Dhaka Times / 26 December / SAT)