Biden Says Ukraine War Setbacks Forced Putin To Offer Christmas Truce: 'He's Trying To Find Some Oxygen'
U.S. President Joe Biden said Russia had suffered significant drawbacks in the Ukraine war, which has forced Vladimir Putin to offer a 36-hour truce for the first time since the onset of the war.
What Happened: Putin on Thursday ordered a ceasefire from Friday midday after a call for a Christmas truce by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.
“I’m reluctant to respond to anything that Putin says," Biden told media at the White House.
"I found it interesting that he was willing to bomb hospitals and nurseries and churches … on the 25th and New Year’s. I mean, I think he’s trying to find some oxygen,” he added.
Ukraine's president also called Putin's ceasefire offer a trick to stop Ukraine’s progression in the eastern Donbas region and bring in more of their own. Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejecting the offer, said there would be no truce until the Kremlin withdraws its forces from Ukraine's occupied land.
“They now want to use Christmas as a cover, albeit briefly, to stop the advances of our boys in Donbas and bring equipment, ammunitions and mobilized troops closer to our positions,” Zelenskyy said.
The Christmas truce begins on Jan. 6, when many Orthodox Christians, including those living in Russia and Ukraine, celebrate Christmas. It would be Putin’s first ceasefire in over 10 months of the war, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives on each side.
Meanwhile, Washington is mulling a new weapons package for Ukraine – worth roughly $2.8 billion – which includes about 50 Bradley fighting vehicles, reported Reuters.