The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin on Wednesday has ordered the introduction of martial law in the four occupied Ukraine territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, illegally annexed by Moscow in September.
The Kremlin has issued a decree confirming the entry into force of martial legislation in these areas from 00:00 local time on Thursday.
President Putin said that, “These territories “had martial law in place before they became part of the Russia, but it is required to formalise this regime in accordance with Russian legislation.”
He justified this measure by adding that Kyiv refused to negotiate with Moscow and continued to “bomb” the civilian population in these regions.
“The (Ukrainian) neo-Nazis openly use terrorist methods (…) They send groups of saboteurs to our territory,” he added, denouncing in particular the attack on the Crimean bridge and “nuclear infrastructures”, without specifying which.
Russia’s false claim of Ukraine being led by so-called “neo-nazis” has been roundly rejected with little evidence to show for it, yet the Kremlin continues to parrot these lines to justify the invasion of Ukraine.
According to the decree, the Russian government must propose concrete measures to be applied in these territories within three days.
Russia’s legislation provides for a series of measures in the event of the introduction of martial law: reinforcement of security measures, curfews, ban on public gatherings, evacuation of strategic enterprises, ban on leaving the territories concerned, the internment of the population, and the introduction of military telecommunication censorship.
The decree also introduces a heightened security regime, described as a “medium-level reaction regime,” in the Crimean peninsula, annexed in 2014, as well as in the Russian regions of Krasnodar, Rostov, Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh and Kursk, which are located near Ukraine.
In the Central Federal District, where the capital Moscow is located, a heightened alert regime has also been introduced, according to the decree.