If Putin wanted peace, he would take his soldiers back to Russia, and the war would be over. But apparently, the Kremlin didn’t renounce the plan to conquer Ukraine.
When it makes a false peace declaration and later breaks it, Russia’s primary objective is to spread disinformation and manipulate public opinion. It aims to present Moscow as a peaceful force in the media. Russian secret services frequently use wishful thinking to sway the public opinion, and they are promoting these narratives for everyone who is tired of war.
Putin’s truth declaration goal – disinformation
Putin made the declaration because the top international media could not ignore him as the leader of a nation at war. Delivering propaganda or false information to a target audience in Europe or Ukraine has become highly challenging for the Kremlin. The primary Kremlin propagandist outlets, like RT and Sputnik, are already outlawed. Other, smaller pro-Kremlin websites are barely noticeable.
The Kremlin is thus utilizing the top Western media as a channel for its propaganda by declaring a ceasefire that won’t take place. Since Putin proclaimed the Christmas truce, numerous publications in France, Germany, Italy, and other nations have run stories with that headline. In other words, a reader unaware of the situation and cunning Kremlin strategies would mistakenly think of the Russian president as a peacemaker even though Putin started the war and continues to deploy his soldiers in Ukraine.
And this is precisely his intention: to mislead Western society and improve his reputation by making peace pledges that no one will obtain from Putin. Leaders in Ukraine and the West nevertheless recognized the dictator’s objectives and gave him the appropriate response.
‘The war ends when Russian soldiers leave’
In Kyiv, Putin’s offer of a 36-hour “ceasefire” to celebrate Christmas, as observed by Orthodox Christians on January 6 and 7, has received little trust, as Russia didn’t respect the declared truth since the war in Donbas started in 2014.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that Putin’s offer of a ceasefire was a deception intended to stop the advance of the Ukrainian army in the eastern Donbas region so that Russia could send in more reinforcements during his evening address on January 5.
According to Zelensky, “Russia wants to use Christmas as a cover, if only temporarily, to halt the progress of our soldiers in Donbas and transfer supplies, ammunition, and mobilized forces closer to our lines.”
Ending the war, according to Zelensky, meant “putting an end to your country’s aggression,” and he made a point of speaking in Russian rather than Ukrainian. “Either your forces go, or we expel them, the war will end,” Zelensky said in his address to Putin.
Russia-Ukraine fighting in Donbas on Christmas
Fighting between Russians and Ukrainians continued on Saturday, January 7, despite the Orthodox Christmas, the majority religion in Russia and Ukraine. Accusations were made on both sides during this day.
Ukraine has questioned the sincerity of the Russian truce, claiming that it is a ruse to gain time. Washington, Paris, London, Berlin, and the EU have blasted the move. An adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, Mykhailo Podoliak, again rejected the Russian truce on Saturday, calling it a “fake.”
“Russia invaded and killed Ukrainians for 11 months, indignantly saying, ‘But why are you resisting?’ Russia unilaterally announces a real-fake ‘ceasefire’ across the frontline but continues to whine. Why doesn’t Ukraine support our fake proposal?” he wrote on Twitter.
The war goes on, and no truth is seen on the frontline
In Bakhmut, the epicenter of the fighting located further north, AFP had already reported artillery fire from both sides of the front in the hours following the establishment of the announced Russian ceasefire.
On the morning of January 7, Russian invaders once again shelled the city of Vovchansk in the North of the Kharkiv region, the 24tv channel reported.
On the night of January 8, Russians shelled the settlements of the Donetsk region again. Russian invaders carried out 7 missile attacks on Kramatorsk and 2 on Kostyantynivka, Ukrainian media reported, publishing pictures of the aftermath.
The unholy Moscow patriarch
Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Moscow Orthodox Church, made the first request for a truce earlier on January 5 to allow the faithful to attend church on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Kirill, a devoted supporter of Putin, has favored the war from the outset. He gave a Russian National Guard commander, Viktor Zolotov, an Orthodox icon last year to “inspire young warriors” who are “on the path to preserving the Fatherland.”
With cynicism and opportunism, the unholy Kirill acts as if Putin has suddenly become filled with holiday cheer and Christian goodwill. However, the declaration of a ceasefire enables them to use the “good Christian” argument for domestic audiences and demonize Ukraine by accusing it of not respecting a truce.
Cunning goal to leverage Western media to spread disinformation
According to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Russian promises of a ceasefire won’t offer “either freedom or security” to the people who live in constant terror of Moscow’s violent attacks. “If Putin wanted peace, he would send his troops home, and the war would end. However, it appears that he wants to continue the war after a brief pause,” she said.
But it’s more cunning than that. The declared ceasefire didn’t take place. Russia’s aim was not only to regroup forces and prepare new assaults on Ukraine but to spread disinformation in Europe, mislead the audience into believing that Moscow wants peace, and turn Western media into its agents.