Putin introduces martial law in the annexed territories

Steph Deschamps / October 19, 2022


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered the imposition of martial law in the four Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia annexed by Moscow in September.


Mr. Putin announced this measure during a meeting of his Security Council broadcast on television. The Kremlin then issued a decree confirming the entry into force of martial law in these territories from Thursday 00H00 local time. These territories "had established martial law before their attachment to the Russian Federation, but it is necessary to formalize this regime following Russian legislation," said Vladimir Putin. He justified this measure by saying that Kiev refused to negotiate with Moscow and continued, according to him, to "bombard" the civilian population in these regions. "The neo-Nazis (Ukrainians) openly use terrorist methods ... They send groups of saboteurs on our territory," he added, denouncing in particular the attack against the Crimean bridge and "nuclear infrastructure" without specifying which. According to the decree, the Russian government will have to propose within three days concrete measures to be applied in these territories.


Russian legislation provides for a series of measures in the event of the introduction of martial law: tightening of security measures, curfews, ban on public gatherings, evacuation of strategic enterprises, ban on leaving the territories concerned, internment of the population, introduction of military censorship in telecommunications, etc. The decree also introduces an enhanced 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.

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