Apr 20, 2022 - World

Kremlin rejects UN calls for ceasefire in Ukraine over Orthodox Easter

 Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia speaks at a press conference ahead of the UN Security Council meeting at the United Nations on April 19, 2022 in New York City.
Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia's deputy ambassador to the U.N., during a press conference ahead of the United Nations Security Council meeting in New York City on Tuesday. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Russia's government rejected calls from the United Nations chief Tuesday for a ceasefire in Ukraine during the Eastern Orthodox Holy Week to allow for civilians to evacuate the country, per the New York Times.

Driving the news: As Russian forces bombarded eastern Ukraine, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a four-day ceasefire from this Thursday through the Orthodox Easter Sunday so humanitarian corridors could open.

  • Major Serhiy Volyna, the commander of the last Ukrainian forces in besieged southeastern port city Mariupol, told outlets Tuesday that civilians were among at least 500 people wounded in attacks by Russia's military at the steel plant his troops were defending.

What they're saying: Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia's deputy ambassador to the UN, told the United Nations Security Council hours later that humanitarian ceasefire calls were "insincere," the NYT reports.

  • In practice, "they merely point to an aspiration to provide Kyiv nationalists breathing room to regroup and receive more drones, more antitank missiles and more MANPADS," he claimed — in reference to man-portable air-defense systems.

Go deeper: Dashboard: Russian invasion of Ukraine

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