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Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk urged people living on the territories occupied by Russia to abstain from attending church services and crowded places during the Orthodox Christmas celebrations.
The Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7 remains the main celebration date for most believers, although Ukraine has made the Western Christmas on Dec. 25 an official holiday as well.
“Ukraine has received information that Russians are preparing terrorist attacks in churches,” Vereshchuk wrote on Facebook.
A Ukrainian OSINT group InformNapalm also reported getting tip-offs about supposed attacks in churches in occupied territories, meant to frame Ukraine as an aggressor and motivate potential conscripts in Russia to join the army.
On Jan. 5, Russian media reported that President Vladimir Putin ordered to implement a 36-hour ceasefire on Jan. 6-7, on the occasion of the Orthodox Christmas. Ukraine and its allies have dismissed the report as a lie and an attempt to win time.
In the early afternoon of Jan. 6, during the supposed "truce," the air raid alarms went off across Ukraine following a reported take-off of missile carrying jets in Belarus. Shortly before, the city of Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast was hit with two missiles. The city of Kherson was shelled in the morning of Jan. 6, and at least one person was killed.