Ukrainian parliament votes for martial law amid Russian Federation clash

Geraldine Edwards
November 28, 2018

Martial law gives Ukrainian authorities the power to mobilise citizens with military experience, regulate the media and restrict public rallies in affected areas. The Russian government has accused Poroshenko of somehow orchestrating the entire incident in order to postpone the election.

However, Moscow will never stop its desire to continue military aggression.

A video posted to Twitter shows a Russian boat purposely ramming a Ukrainian tugboat on Sunday near the Kerch Strait.

The clash has raised alarm in Europe that the four-year old Ukrainian conflict could escalate into full-blown war, prompting snap meetings at the United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Monday.

Although U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has criticized Russian Federation and called for the Kremlin to "immediately cease" unlawful actions, President Donald Trump has been fairly quiet on the incident. And hopefully they'll get straightened out. "They're not thrilled. We're all working on it together", he said. They are working on it, too.

Trump spoke to reporters just days before he is expected to meet with President Vladimir Putin at a G20 meeting in Argentina. "It is introduced with the sole goal of boosting Ukraine's defence in the light of a growing aggression from Russian Federation".

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Almost 21,000 candidates were vying for 11,000 elected positions, from mayors to city councillors and township chiefs. The authorities are now expected to pass a special law, without amending the Civil Code, the report said.

Kaljulaid said that she is calling on the worldwide community and the leaders of the democratic world to join her in this statement and clearly, jointly and without delay condemn Russia's aggression and demand an end to it.

Haley put the blame firmly on Russia for the clash, calling the seizure of the ships an "outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory" and slamming "yet another reckless Russian escalation".

"I have to emphasize that, according to the global law, Crimea and respective territorial waters are the Ukrainian territory temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation", Ukraine's UN Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko told the Security Council.

On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Ukraine's decision to introduce martial law had a "barely camouflaged" political agenda, although he added that the move was an internal matter for Kiev.

The crisis unfolded as two small Ukrainian warships and a tugboat were heading through the Kerch Strait, a waterway that gives access to the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea and which is used by both Ukraine and Russian Federation.

Earlier, Ukraine said a Russian coast guard vessel rammed into a Ukrainian navy tugboat, resulting in damage to the ship's engines and hull.

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In Kerch, two Russian police officers with automatic rifles stood on the pier where the Ukrainian vessels were moored.

Some of the more than 20 Ukrainian sailors held by Russia for straying into Russian waters appeared on Russian state TV on Tuesday admitting to being part of a pre-planned provocation.

In 2014, Ukraine erupted in a revolution that pitted pro-Russian and pro-E.U. segments of its population against one another, reflecting internal disputes over whether Ukraine should be closer with the nuclear superpower to its east or the democratic union to its west. The FSB said only three had suffered non-life threatening injuries and were given medical treatment.

Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of the SBU, confirmed that his officers were on board to support the military and said one of them had been seriously wounded after Russian aircraft fired missiles at the Ukrainian vessels.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said any Russian "blockade" of the Sea of Azov was "unacceptable" and proposed French-German mediation to resolve the crisis.

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