Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has offered Ukraine a 36-hour ceasefire in the war to allow people to attend services on Orthodox Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, according to state media.

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But Ukrainian officials spurned the offer, saying there would be no truce until Russia withdrew its invading forces from occupied land.

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The Kremlin said Mr Putin had ordered a ceasefire from midday on Friday after a call for a Christmas truce from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podolyak said Russia “must leave the occupied territories - only then will it have a ‘temporary truce’”.

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It comes as France’s president Emmanuel Macron has pledged to send Ukraine light AMX-10 RC armoured combat vehicles, in a call with his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

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The West’s collective aid does not match the requirements of heavier tanks that Mr Zelensky wants,

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And comes as Vladimir Putin sent a frigate to the Atlantic Ocean armed with hypersonic Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles on Wednesday.

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Ukraine’s intelligence directorate believes Mr Putin will be forced to announce a second mobilisation before April, a Ukrainian minister claimed.

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