Putin imposes martial law in the 4 Ukrainian regions annexed by the referendums
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Putin imposes martial law in the 4 Ukrainian regions annexed by the referendums

Putin signed a decree imposing martial law in the Ukrainian regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk where the annexation referendums in Moscow were held at the end of September. Kyiv replied immediately: “This changes nothing for us”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has imposed martial law in the Ukrainian regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk where the annexation referendums in Moscow were held at the end of September, not recognized by the vast majority of the international community.

This is what the Tass agency reports, according to which the leader of the Kremlin signed the decree during a meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, held by videoconference, recalling that in these territories “before entering Russia, there is it was already a martial law regime. Now we have to formalize this regime within the framework of Russian legislation. Therefore, I signed a decree on the introduction of martial law in these four subjects of the Russian Federation, “Putin explained.

The decree “will be immediately sent to the Federation Council for approval”, the Russian Senate added, “the State Duma has also been informed of the decision”. The document also reads that Russia can take “other measures” under existing martial law “if necessary”.

Still speaking to the Security Council, Putin reiterated that “the Kyiv regime rejects any negotiation proposal, while the bombings continue”. For this, he introduced the “medium response level” regime in Crimea and Sevastopol and in the southern regions bordering Ukraine, Krasnodar, Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk and Rostov. The law also restricts the freedom of movement in and out of these areas.

The response from Kyiv is immediate. “The implementation of ‘martial law’ in the occupied territories by the Russian Federation should only be seen as a pseudo-legalization of the looting of Ukrainian property by another group,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr’s advisor wrote on Twitter. Zelensky, Mikhailo Podolyak, adding that “this changes nothing for Ukraine: we continue the liberation and de-occupation of our territories”.

“Martial law in the occupied territories will make it possible to forcefully mobilize Ukrainian male citizens to send them into the trenches to die, just like the residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions previously,” Anton Gerashchenko, councilor and former deputy minister at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, who added: “This is genocide”.

It is no coincidence that Putin’s decision comes at a delicate time in the war in Ukraine, after Russian officials warned of a looming Ukrainian assault on the key southern city of Kherson.