Attempt to Avoid Election? Why Poroshenko Wants Martial Law Over Kerch Incident

Monday, November 26, 2018
By Paul Martin

SputnikNews.com
26.11.2018

After three Ukrainian naval ships were detained by Russia for violating Russia’s maritime border in Kerch Strait ignoring all demands to turn back, President Petro Poroshenko cried bloody murder and proposed introducing martial law nationwide.

Sunday’s incident with Russian and Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait exacerbated even further what are already very tense relations between the two countries.

President Poroshenko has signed a decree on imposing martial law in the country until 25 January 2019, and submitted it for approval by the parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, the presidential website announced.

“To enact the decision of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine dated 26 November 2018, On emergency measures to ensure the state sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and the imposition of martial law in Ukraine,” the document said.

Poroshenko’s opponents say that this will invest him with virtually unlimited powers to outlaw political parties, allow the seizure of citizens’ property, replace civilian authorities with a military administration, and even become a dictator.

What Happened in the Kerch Strait

On Sunday morning, Ukrainian Navy ships Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yana Kapu, entered the temporarily closed water area of the territorial sea of the Russian Federation in violation of Articles 19 and 21 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and dangerously manoeuvered for several hours ignoring all demands to leave the area.

The Russian ships then opened fire, slightly wounding three Ukrainian sailors who were later taken to a hospital.

All three ships were detained about 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) from the Russian coast and 50 kilometres (31 miles) southwest of the usual passage of ships along the Kerch Strait under the Crimea Bridge.

How Kiev Responded

President Poroshenko, as Supreme Commander, convened a War Cabinet composed of the prime minister, foreign and defence ministers, the heads of law enforcement agencies and the presidential administration.

The Cabinet recommended imposing martial law in the country and the issue was immediately submitted for consideration by the National Security and Defence Council (NSDC).
The Council agreed with Poroshenko’s proposal and the president signed the pertinent decree.

A 60-day special legal regime has been established with National Security and Defence Council Secretary Alexander Turchinov saying that martial law was necessary “to create conditions for repelling an armed aggression and ensuring national security”.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces and the units of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) have been placed on full alert.

Why Poroshenko had to reassure Ukrainians

The Rest…HERE

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