Putin Makes Drastic Move in Annexed Ukrainian States

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin declared martial law in the four areas taken over in Ukraine. During a television appearance by the President, he announced martial law would go into effect in the Russian-occupied regions of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, as well as Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). No specific restrictions were noted by Putin under the martial law decree. However, the Associated Press noted that the move also could lead to restrictions in western Russia. That would include Moscow and St. Petersburg.

American Military News reports:

“I have signed a decree on the introduction of martial law in these four constituent entities of Russia,” Putin said. “It will immediately be sent to the Federation Council for approval. The State Duma has been notified of this decision.”

In his remarks, Putin said martial law regimes were already in effect in the four Ukrainian regions “before they joined Russia” and said his new order is meant “to formalize this regime already within the framework of Russian legislation.”

In addition to declaring martial law in these four Russian-annexed Ukrainian territories, Putin said he also signed a decree to give “additional powers” to the heads of all Russian regions.

Putin also didn’t specify what additional powers the heads of Russian regions would receive, but said this move is meant “to ensure the safety of people, and anti-terrorist protection of critical facilities, maintaining public order, increasing the stability of the economy, industry, establishing and expanding the production of products necessary for a special military operation. To coordinate the work, the heads of regions will have the authority to create appropriate headquarters.”

International policy wonks and world leaders have decried Russia’s annexation of the four Ukrainian territories that previously were parts of the now-defunct Soviet Union. The United Nation held a vote, with 143 condemning Russia for the move.