Russia-Ukraine crisis: Why did Ukraine impose martial law in 2018?
- Martial law is the temporary imposition of direct military control of normal civil functions
- Ukraine banned all Russian men aged between 16 and 60
- Martial law may be declared in cases of major natural disasters as well
Martial law in Ukraine was a period of the law introduced by presidential decree of November 26, 2018 in 10 regions of Ukraine for 30 days on with the aim of strengthening the defense of Ukraine against the background of increasing tension with Russia.
This happened after the incident in the Kerch Strait. Martial law was ended after 30 days.
Initially, then President Poroshenko signed a decree for the martial law within the whole Ukraine for 60 days, however after 5 hours of deliberations, a less restrictive version was signed into the law by an emergency session of Verkhovna Rada.
During the martial law, Ukraine banned all Russian men aged between 16 and 60 from entering the country for the period of the martial law with exceptions for humanitarian purposes.
Ukraine claimed this was a security measure to prevent Russia from forming units of "private" armies on Ukrainian soil. According to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine 1,650 Russian citizens were refused entry into Ukraine from November 26 to December 26, 2018.
On 27 December 2018, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine announced that it had extended "the restrictive measures of the State Border Guard Service regarding the entry of Russian men into Ukraine."
What is martial law?
Martial law is the temporary imposition of direct military control of normal civil functions or suspension of civil law by a government, especially in response to a temporary emergency where civil forces are overwhelmed, or in an occupied territory.
The martial law can be used by governments to enforce their rule over the public. Such incidents may occur after a coup d'état (Thailand in 2006 and 2014, and Egypt in 2013); when threatened by popular protest (China, Tiananmen Square protests of 1989); to suppress political opposition (martial law in Poland in 1981), or to stabilize insurrections or perceived insurrections.
Martial law may be declared in cases of major natural disasters; however, most countries use a different legal construct, such as a state of emergency.