Ukraine President Threatens Martial Law If Diplomacy Fails

Move Would Effectively Give Military Control Over Entire Country

With the ongoing ceasefire negotiations in Minsk facing an uncertain outcome, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is threatening to “introduce martial law in all territories of Ukraine” if the talks fail.

The comments are in the context of a war that is going increasingly poorly for the government, which launched an offensive against the rebels last month and is quickly losing even more ground to them.

While Poroshenko warns the situation could quickly spiral out of control, it’s not clear what he hopes to gain by threatening to give the military effective executive control over the entire nation.

After all, the rebels have control over their own territory in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, and transitioning alleged control from civilian officials who are using the military and unable to conquer them, or just turning it over to the same military that isn’t winning the war now. The only places the military could practically take control of are the western 3/4 of the country, which are already under government control.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.