Putin declares martial law in the annexed territories of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Wednesday, declared martial law in the four regions of Ukraine annexed by Moscow and granted all regional governors in Russia emergency powers that open the door to wide-ranging new restrictions across the country.

Putin did not immediately clarify what steps would be taken under martial law, but said his order was in effect from Thursday. His decree gave law enforcement agencies three days to submit specific proposals and orders to establish regional defense forces in the annexed areas.

Soon, the upper house of the Russian parliament endorsed Putin’s decision to impose martial law in the annexed Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhia regions. The legislation adopted indicated that the declaration could include restrictions on travel and public gatherings, tighter control and broader authority for law enforcement agencies.

“We are solving very difficult tasks on a large scale to ensure the security of Russia, its secure future and the protection of our people,” Putin said in televised remarks at the start of a Security Council meeting. “Those who are on the front lines or undergoing training at shooting ranges and training centers should feel our support and know that they have our great, great country and united people behind their back.”

On Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that two men shot at soldiers at a military firing range near Ukraine, killing 11 and wounding 15. The ministry said two men from an unnamed former Soviet republic had shot volunteer soldiers during a training exercise. Aim before they kill them by hand. fire response.

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Putin did not provide details of the additional powers that the heads of Russian regions will have under his decree. However, the order states that the actions stipulated in martial law can be introduced anywhere in Russia “when necessary”.

According to Russian legislation, martial law may require a ban on public gatherings, the imposition of travel bans and curfews, and the imposition of censorship, among other restrictions.

The official RIA Novosti news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that Putin’s orders do not foresee closing Russia’s borders. In an apparent attempt to calm the nervous public, regional authorities were quick to announce that no immediate curfews or travel restrictions were planned.

Putin last month ordered reservists to be mobilized, prompting hundreds of thousands of men to flee Russia.

On Wednesday, the Russian leader also ordered the creation of a coordination committee to increase interaction between government agencies in dealing with the fighting in Ukraine, which Putin has continued to call a “special military operation.”

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, who was appointed to lead the commission, said it would focus on boosting the supply of weapons and military equipment, carrying out construction work and facilitating transportation.

In Russia’s regions bordering Ukraine, authorities plan to tighten security at key facilities and conduct checks on motorists, among other measures, according to Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Defense Committee of Russia’s lower house of parliament.

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