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A Kremlin-declared truce in fighting in Ukraine for Orthodox Christmas has been broken by exchanges of artillery fire along the front line, including in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, where one person was killed, and the eastern region of Luhansk, according to Ukrainian officials.

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The fire department in Kherson was shelled on January 6, said Yaroslav Yanushevych, the head of the Kherson regional military administration, who described the person killed as a firefighter and said four others were injured, including one who is in serious condition. All were hospitalized, he said, adding that a house near the fire station was damaged in the attack.

“Despite the fact that the rescuers themselves came under fire, they immediately set out to extinguish the blaze,” Yanushevych said.

Russian troops kept up their attacks on January 6 in Luhansk despite the unilaterally declared cease-fire, said the region’s governor, Serhiy Hayday. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on January 7 will announce the extent of the shelling and assaults that took place, he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for the cease-fire to begin at 9 a.m. GMT — noon in Ukraine — on January 6 and run until midnight on January 7, but his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and several Western officials accused the Kremlin of wanting to use the period to improve its position on the battlefield.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that strikes in eastern Ukraine showed that the cease-fire was a “cynical” ploy.

Russian state television said the truce began being honored at noon Moscow time “along the entire line of contact” in Ukraine.

But Ukrainian officials in Kramatorsk reported shelling, and the Russian state news agency TASS said Ukrainian forces had shelled Donetsk “exactly at noon.” A witness in the Russian-occupied regional capital described artillery fired from pro-Russian positions on the city’s outskirts after the cease-fire was meant to go into effect, according to Reuters.

In Kramatorsk close to the eastern front line, rockets slammed into a residential building damaging 14 homes but causing no casualties, the mayor said, according to Reuters. The attack occurred before the cease-fire was supposed to start.

The Russian Defense Ministry alleged that Ukrainian forces continued to shell its positions and said its forces returned fire. Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov reported multiple Ukrainian attacks in the eastern Donetsk, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhya regions.

Russian-backed officials had indicated that Putin’s order only covered offensive operations and Russia forces would hit back if fired upon, according to Reuters.

Ukrinform reported almost an hour after the start of the cease-fire that an air alert had been issued across the country.

None of the reports could be independently verified.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on January 6 that Russia “totally lacks credibility and this declaration of a unilateral cease-fire is not credible.”

Speaking during a visit to Morocco, he said Russia launched the “illegitimate aggression,” and when the aggressor talks of a cease-fire, “I think the response that comes to us all is skepticism in the face of such hypocrisy.”

Some Western governments — including the United States — called the cease-fire a ploy by Russia to regroup after weeks of setbacks.

“Everyone in the world knows how the Kremlin uses a lull in the war to continue the war with new strength,” Zelenskiy said in a video message late on January 5.

Putin’s call for a cease-fire came on the same day that Germany and Washington pledged additional military aid for Kyiv — including Bradley and Marder infantry fighting vehicles, as well as an additional Patriot air defense battery — with Biden saying the promise comes at a “critical point” in the conflict.

French President Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, announced the delivery of French-made AMX-10 RC light tanks to Ukraine, the first Western contribution of such weapons to Kyiv.

Kyiv has been pressing Western governments for heavy armored vehicles.

U.S. officials said on January 5 that Washington’s new aid package, which includes dozens of the Bradley vehicles, would total almost $3 billion. the largest single package pledged so far during the war, which Russia launched more than 10 months ago.

The United States on January 6 announced $3 billion in military assistance for Ukraine. White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said the assistance is expected to include Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, other personnel carriers, and self-propelled howitzers.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told journalists that the Bradleys “are very significant in terms of being able to do what we call combined arms maneuver warfare.”

The vehicles are “very much tied to the war that we’re seeing on the ground right now and what we anticipate we’ll see throughout the winter months,” Kirby said.

Zelenskiy welcomed the aid, which the U.S. said was the largest drawdown from existing weapons stocks of any announced thus far. He also thanked U.S. President Joe Biden on Twitter, calling the package an “awesome Christmas present” that will strengthen Ukraine’s army on the battlefield.

The package also includes $682 million in foreign military financing for European allies to help replenish donations of military equipment they’ve made to Ukraine.

“The war is at a critical point and we must do everything we can to help the Ukrainians resist Russian aggression,” Jean-Pierre said in announcing the aid.

Germany said earlier that it would send about 40 of the Marder vehicles within weeks, and training on them will be provided in Germany.

Zelenskiy said he spoke by phone to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on January 6 and thanked him for a “powerful defense package” that would help Ukraine fend off Russian troops and defend its cities.

With reporting by Reuters and AP