The Kremlin said Wednesday it had not received any proposals from Kyiv to halt fighting in Ukraine during the upcoming holiday period and a ceasefire was not on Moscow’s agenda.
Christmas in Russia is celebrated on January 7, according to the Orthodox calendar, and public holidays in the country usually extend from New Year’s Day until after Christmas.
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched what was supposed to be a lightening offensive in Ukraine in February, and Kyiv has said it is determined to continue fighting until it recaptures swathes of territory under Russian control.
In nearly 10 months of fighting, Russia has yet to fulfil any of its stated key goals in what it refers to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine, including seizing the capital or the eastern Donbas region.
The Moscow-installed leader of Ukraine’s Donetsk region on Wednesday however called for Russia to widen its goals and annex two more areas of Ukraine, the Black Sea region of Odessa and Chernigiv in the north.
In response to that call, Peskov said that any decision to incorporate those areas would depend on “the will of residents” there.
“The primary task is to protect people in the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic. Our military is concentrating on this,” he said, referring to two regions that Russia claimed to have annexed in September.