Kyiv (Web Desk): Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday announced the imposition of martial law after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war.
“Russia has announced a special military operation in the Donbas region and is conducting strikes on its military infrastructure and border guards,” said Zelensky in a brief video address posted on social media. He urged Ukrainians to stay home and not to panic.
Earlier, the country imposed a nationwide state of emergency for 30 days. Introducing a state of emergency gives powers to the authorities, who can choose which ones to implement. These could include restrictions on transport, extra protection for critical infrastructure and a ban on strikes. The state of emergency applies to all of Ukraine except the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where it has been in place since 2014.
Martial law would impose harder restrictions, which could include bans on meetings, movements and political parties.
Russian President Putin had declared war on Ukraine, large explosions were witnessed in the embattled country’s Kyiv and Kharkiv regions.
“We decided to launch a special military action aimed at demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine,” Putin said in a televised address.
Putin also stated that clashes between Russian and Ukrainian forces are “inevitable” and called on Ukrainian service members to “lay down their arms and go home”.