Four regions of Ukraine will be under Russian martial law starting Thursday, after Russian President Vladimir Putin made the announcement on Wednesday. The New York Times reports that the move will give authorities power to force relocation and the ability to impose tight restrictions on areas in Ukraine that Russia illegally annexed last month.
These restrictions allow authorities to enforce a curfew and strengthen the military. The declaration comes after Russia’s struggle to keep hold of its annexed regions from Ukrainian forces, per CBS News.
Why did Putin declare martial law in Ukraine?
Putin’s declaration of martial law is a tactic to gain more control in its “claimed” regions of Ukraine. Axios reports that none of the annexed regions are completely controlled by Russian forces.
Martial law allows authorities to impose more control over the four annexed regions of Ukraine.
Ever since Putin announced the annexation, it’s been a concern that Putin would claim Russian soil is under attack, and rewrite the country’s position as a defensive one.
What does martial law mean?
Martial law gives a military commander in the region the ability to create and enforce laws, and gives them unlimited authority. It suspends all existing laws and allows military power to act as a government, according to NBC New York.
How are Ukrainian officials reacting to Putin’s declaration?
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhalio Podolyak reacted to Putin’s declaration of martial law and called it a “pseudo-legalization of looting of Ukrainians’ property,” according to Reuters.
"Martial law" implementation on the occupied territories by RF should be considered only as a pseudo-legalization of looting of Ukrainians’ property by another "regrouping". This does not change anything for Ukraine: we continue the liberation and deoccupation of our territories.— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) October 19, 2022