Ukrainian MPs approved president Petro Poroshenko’s request to impose martial law for 30 days, in the areas near the Russian border, after three Ukrainian navy ships were seized by Russian special forces in the Black Sea, leading to unprecedented tensions between the two countries.
The regions included in the decision are: Odessa, Mykolaiv, Herson, Zaporizhia, Luhansk, Donetsk, Sumy, Kharkiv, Cernihiv and Vinnytsia.
Martial law in Ukraine involves a series of limitations in terms of freedom of movement, public gatherings and media activity, but Poroshenko’s decree makes no mentions of such restrictions. However, 11 measures to mobilize reserve army forces, organize the defense of important state institutions, take cybersecurity measures and ensure public order are mentioned in the document.
Poroshenko said on Sunday that martial law “doesn’t mean declaring war on Russia,” and that it will only be used as a tool for defense.
The Ukrainian parliament also adopted a resolution on Monday night asking the West to stop Russia’s aggression, offer military help to the Ukraine and send observers and war ships to the Black Sea and the Azov Sea.
Foreign leaders react
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis said there was no reason for Romanians to worry about the situation in the Ukraine, and that Romania is prepared “for any scenario” in the region. He added that the two countries should treat the incident calmly and try to reduce tensions.
US president Donald Trump said he didn’t like what was happening between Russia and Ukraine, adding that European leaders were “not thrilled” either and that he was working with them to find solutions.
Russia on Monday ignored calls from the West to release the three ships it seized over the weekend and accused Kiev of plotting with its Western allies to provoke a conflict.