Fighting never stopped as Russia’s Orthodox Christmas ceasefire ends

© Dimitar Dilkoff, AFP

The unilateral ceasefire that Russian President Vladimir Putin declared from midday Moscow time on Friday ended at 11:00pm in Kyiv (2100 GMT) on Saturday. Ukraine accused the Russian army of not respecting the ceasefire, while Russia said it had been forced to retaliate following Ukraine's rejection of the truce offer. Read our live blog to see how the day's events unfolded. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

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10:10pm: Little respite in fighting as Ukraine marks Orthodox Christmas

Ukrainians and Russians marked Orthodox Christmas on Saturday, as the 36-hour ceasefire ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin ran its course with little sign the fighting had eased.

War-scarred cities in eastern Ukraine saw no significant let-up in the combat. AFP journalists in the town of Chasiv Yar south of the frontline city of Bakhmut heard heavy artillery fire throughout much of Saturday morning.

The Russian defence ministry insisted its forces were observing the unilateral ceasefire, which ended at 11:00 pm in Kyiv (2100 GMT). But they also said they had repelled attacks in eastern Ukraine and killed dozens of Ukrainian soldiers Friday.

8:41pm: Shelling booms around Bakhmut’s streets despite truce

Many people also said that they weren't celebrating Christmas Day (as per the Christian Orthodox tradition) because they felt that they were too close to the fighting and there was nothing to celebrate.

4:03pm: London to host international meeting on alleged war crimes in Ukraine

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

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