Ukraine Declares Martial Law As Russia Refuses To Release Captured Ships

Monday, November 26, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Mon, 11/26/2018

Update: Poroshenko’s plan to impose martial law has been approved, and during an address on national television, the president said it will begin at 9 am local time on Nov. 28 and continue at least until late January. Ukrainians are expected to vote in a presidential election in March.

UKRAINE’S POROSHENKO SAYS MARTIAL LAW WILL BE FROM 9 AM NOV. 28
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT POROSHENKO ADDRESSES NATION ON TV
UKRAINE’S POROSHENKO REITERATES MARTIAL LAW DOESN’T MEAN WAR
ELECTIONS WILL GO AHEAD ON SCHEDULE
* * *

Seemingly out of nowhere, a diplomatic crisis has erupted between Ukraine and Russia after Russia detained three Ukrainian ships which it said had been “maneuvering dangerously” near the Kerch Strait – a crucial Russia-controlled choke point which separates the Sea of Azov From the Black Sea. In response to what he decried as unprovoked Russian aggression, increasingly unpopular Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a declaration on Monday to declare martial law for 60 days through Jan. 26. He also started mobilizing the Ukrainian army despite the martial law order still needing approval by the country’s Parliament, according to RT.

Ratcheting up the anxieties of NATO commanders, who are probably fearful of being drawn into a potential military conflict with Russia, Ukraine has put its troops on full combat alert (though it isn’t a member of NATO, Ukraine has become closely allied with the defense alliance after shelving plans for membership a decade ago). Poroshenko met with the country’s military leaders Sunday night to discuss imposing martial law.

As the UN calls an emergency meeting of the Security Council (of which Russia is a permanent member) to be held on Monday, Russia is resisting international demands to release the two Ukrainian artillery boats and the tugboat, which it seized after firing on the ships and ramming one of them. A spokeswoman for the Kremlin said Russia is opening a criminal case into what it claimed was the ships’ illegal entry into Russian waters surrounding the narrow Kerch Strait, according to Reuters.

Russian newswire Interfax reported that Russian border guards had detained 24 Ukrainian sailors accused of taking part in the border provocations.

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