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Ukraine President imposes martial law

The country is already under the state of emergency

February 24, 2022 11:45 am | Updated 12:05 pm IST - Kiev

An employee works at the gun counter of a tactical equipment shop on February 23, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the country’s army reservists in specialist fields to active duty.

An employee works at the gun counter of a tactical equipment shop on February 23, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the country’s army reservists in specialist fields to active duty. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday declared martial law, saying Russia has targeted Ukraine’s military infrastructure. He urged Ukrainians to stay home and not to panic.

In a brief video address posted on Facebook, Mr. Zelensky said Russia has announced a special military operation in the Donbas region and is conducting strikes on its military infrastructure and border guards."

"This morning, Russia launched a new military operation against our state," Mr. Zelensky said in a separate message posted on the presidential website.

"This is a completely groundless, cynical invasion," he said.

"We, the citizens of Ukraine, have been determining our own future since 1991," he said in reference to the year of the Soviet Union's collapse.

"But now, what is being decided is not only our country's future, but also the future of how Europe will live."

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.

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