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Andryi Pleshan checks destruction around his shelter in the city of Izium in eastern Ukraine on Jan. 2. Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP via Getty Images

Andryi Pleshan checks destruction around his shelter in the city of Izium in eastern Ukraine on Jan. 2.

Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP via Getty Images

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the country’s Defense Minister to order a cease-fire in Ukraine over Orthodox Christmas.

The ceasefire will kick in for 36 hours starting at noon on Jan. 6. Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on Jan. 6 and 7.

Putin’s announcement follows an earlier call by Kremlin ally Moscow Patriarch Kirill for guns to fall silent over the Orthodox holiday.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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