U.N. Secretary-General Appeals for Easter Ceasefire in Ukraine

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appealed for a four-day ceasefire in Ukraine for the observation of the Holy Week.

The Holy Week humanitarian pause, supposedly to begin on Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday on April 24, would provide safe passage to all civilians leaving the expected areas of confrontation. 

Guterres also said that a ceasefire would allow the safe delivery of lifesaving humanitarian aid to people in areas like Mariupol, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk, which were hardly impacted by the war.

“Inspired by Holy Week and all that it represents, I urge all parties — and all champions of peace around the world — to join my Easter appeal. Save lives. Stop the bloodshed and destruction. Open a window for dialogue and peace and keep faith with the meaning and the message of Easter,” Guterres said.

The secretary-general reported that more than 12 million people in Ukraine need humanitarian assistance, and the figure could increase up to 15.7 million or about 40 percent of all Ukrainians still left in the country. He also expressed the readiness of UN to send humanitarian aid convoys to Ukraine during the ceasefire.

The Russian Federation, however, has rejected the appeal, saying it was “mendacious and insincere.” Sergiy Kyslytsya, speaking for Russia during the UN Security Council meeting on Thursday, said that the appeal for a ceasefire reflected a desire to give Kyiv nationalists and radicals an opportunity to regroup and acquire new drones, and arrange new inhuman provocations.

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