President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Jan. 7 that Ukraine will expand sanctions against Russian citizens and those affiliated with Moscow “who justify the war (against Ukraine), help to wage it, or glorify the terrorist state.”
He added that “everyone whose voice sounds in unison with the roar of Russian artillery will be isolated from the civilized world.”
Earlier on Jan. 7, Zelensky issued a decree sanctioning 119 Russian and pro-Russian Ukrainian public figures, putting into effect a decision by the National Security and Defense Council. The list covers many people who support Russia’s war against Ukraine, ranging from TV pundits to athletes and singers.
In his address, Zelensky slammed Russia for breaking the Kremlin’s supposed 36-hour ceasefire over Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 6 and 7.
“It has been confirmed once again that only the expulsion of the Russian occupiers from Ukrainian land and the elimination of any opportunities for Russia to put pressure on Ukraine and the whole of Europe will mean the restoration of a ceasefire, security, and peace,” he said.
According to the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, Russian troops have continued to attack Ukrainian military positions and residential areas despite the so-called “Christmas truce” ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Zelensky also praised the first Christmas service of the independent Church of Ukraine at the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, Ukraine’s main Orthodox monastery.
“It is very important that a sincere prayer for Ukraine was and will continue to be heard in the Lavra today and that no one will make Ukrainian foreign in the Lavra,” Zelensky said. “Ukrainian independence must be strong in all its elements and will be so.”
Previously the entire Lavra was controlled by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, an affiliate of the Russian Orthodox Church.