Ukraine Declares Martial Law


Ukrainian far-right group protesting for martial law.

Mackenzie Riley, Editor

The Ukrainian government has declared martial law to parts of the country in response to increased tensions with Russia. After a naval clash on Sunday, November 25th, 2018, a Russian coastguard captured three Ukrainian ships and their twenty-three crew members. The Russians accused the Ukrainian boats of illegally crossing into waters along the Kerch Strait; these accusations come despite a 2003 treaty agreeing passage to the black sea was shared territory. According to the AP Ukraine’s changes under martial law “will include a partial mobilization and strengthening of the country’s air defense. The measures before parliament also included vaguely worded steps such as ‘strengthening’ anti-terrorism measures and ‘information security,'”

  Martial law is the temporary military rule over a state in times of national crisis, specifically when civil authority has been infringing on or when wartime preparations are underway. The daily rule of law is postponed in the government and governmental functions are overseen by the armed forces.

   In Ukraine, this is the first-time martial law has been declared since 1945. Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have been growing since the 2014 illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia. Many believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations for the aggressive policy are to seek control of Ukraine’s ports to weaken the smaller countries economy and to have access to water. Russia has warned that the conflict could escalate if Ukraine takes any further action.

  This declaration is important to the NATO nations, contractional bound to assist Ukraine in case of conflict. For the United States specifically this declaration could cause a rift between President Trump and Russian President Putin’s new-found relationship. The Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, has made a pointed statement about the increasingly complicated situation, “I count on the United States, I count on the United States people.” He continued, “This is the international obligation of the United States.”.

  So far President Trump has hesitated to take action on the situation; however, he did suggest the cancellation of his meeting with Putin at the upcoming G20 Summit.