Thursday, 30 June 2022 – 21:07

Ukraine establishes martial law after the maritime confrontation with Russia

The day after serious incidents with Russia, Ukraine decided on Monday to impose martial law on the territory.

The confrontation injured six Ukrainian sailors, while twenty-four were captured. Three Ukrainian military ships were stopped by the Russia navy near the Kerch Bridge, which links the Crimea (annexed by Moscow) and Russian territory. The first one was stamped, the two others were shot. The Russian security services (FSB) then approached them. According to the Russian side, Ukrainian ships violated the “territorial waters” of the Crimea and exceeded the ban imposed that day on crossing the Kerch Strait.

The Ukrainian Parliament said “yes” to President Petro Poroshenko’s (photo) proposal about the martial law, adopted by 500 votes to thirty. Only the border regions of Russia, Transnistria and the coastal regions of the south of the country are concerned. The martial law provides: the possibility for the military to support the civilian administrations and a partial mobilisation of the population may be decided by the President but also can remove human freedoms such as secrecy from correspondence, freedom of movement…

Kiev does not recognise Crete’s waters’ existence, and try to strengthen its military presence in the Sea of Azov, where its ports are subject to a blockade. The imprisoned sailors should be brought before a court in Russia.

On Monday evening, far-right Ukrainian supporters gathered to demand a stronger reaction while others believe that the measure is likely to restrict freedom without offering news tools against Russian destabilisation, such as surveillance of journalists and corruption. About the presidential election, it will still be scheduled for the 31st of March. Martial law will only be imposed for a renewable period of thirty days.

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