Putin Declares Martial Law in Annexed Ukrainian Territories

Russian authorities ordered civilians to evacuate Kherson in anticipation of a Ukrainian offensive

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday declared martial law in the territories that Russia annexed in Ukraine, which applies to the Russian-controlled areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson.

Putin said that the territories were already under martial law before they were annexed by Russia. “Now we must introduce the same mode under Russian law. This is why I have signed the Executive Order introducing martial law in these four regions,” he told the Russian Security Council.

Putin said that the order has been submitted to Russia’s houses of parliament for approval. His decree came as Russian-installed officials in the southern Kherson region ordered civilians to evacuate in anticipation of Ukrainian offensives.

“No one is about to surrender Kherson but it’s undesirable for residents to be in a city where military actions are going to be conducted,” said Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed governor in Kherson, according to Reuters.

Officials said they were planning to move 60,000 civilians out of the area in a six-day period. Ukraine on Wednesday launched offensive operations on the frontlines of the Kherson region, which appeared to be repelled by Russia, but a larger offensive could be looming.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.