Published On: Sun, Jan 7th, 2024

Vladimir Putin stages Orthodox Christmas vigil for dead soldiers | World | News


Russian President Vladimir Putin staged a lavish Orthodox Christmas Eve dinner for the children of soldiers who have been killed in his war in a desperate bid to appear a caring leader.

The autocrat also vowed to defend Russian interests and called on his Government to provide greater assistance to his country’s troops.

The choreographed dinner took place in Putin’s residence in Novo-Ogaryovo on the outskirts of Moscow on Saturday

A small group of families could be seen at a chapel at the property in the midnight service known as the Divine Liturgy.

Many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 6-7. Last year, Putin called for a ceasefire during these holidays.

READ MORE: Putin sparks army fury as soldiers ‘sent to slaughter’ after failed training

This year, the Russian leader vowed to keep his ruthless war on Ukraine raging on.

He said during the event broadcast on state TV: “Many of our men, our courageous, heroic men, the soldiers of Russia are right now defending the interests of our country with weapons in their hands, on this holiday.”

Speaking to the children, he said: “I will not talk about a very delicate, maybe even difficult subject on the eve of this holiday, concerning your families.

“But I want to assure you once again that we’ll always be by your side.”

The Russian leader appealed to his cabinet to provide more support to the families of fallen soldiers from his army.

He said: “I would like our meeting to be a clear, understandable signal to all my colleagues throughout the Russian Federation, and at all levels – a clear signal to ensure that my colleagues are always and everywhere with you, I repeat, any level of power,”

Russian military priests reportedly led prayer services on the Ukraine front line on Sunday, according to the country’s defence ministry.

It came as missiles rained down on southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, killing two people and wounding several others in a brutal barrage.

Meanwhile in the Donetsk region, 11 people including five children were killed by a Russian missile strike on Saturday.

Regional Governor Vadim Filashkin posted on Telegram: “The enemy is cynically hitting civilians, trying to bring as much misery as possible.”

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