Ukraine introduces martial law, air raid sirens sound off in Kyiv
Ukraine has declared martial law
Explosions were heard in Mariupol and Kyiv
Russia has announced military operation in Ukraine
Ukraine has introduced martial law Thursday after Russia announced an operation to "demilitarise" the country, AFP reported. Explosions were heard in Kyiv and the eastern port city of Maruipol and air raid sirens sounded off in the centre of Kyiv, the news agency reported.
On Wednesday, Ukraine announced a "state of emergency" in a bid to protect its economy and keep the political situation calm, Reuters reported quoting a senior Ukrainian security official. The state of emergency has been imposed for a period of 30 days and may be further increased.
This is the second time Ukraine has imposed martial law in the last few years. In 2018, following the imposition of martial law, Ukraine banned all Russian men aged 16 to 60 from entering the country. Kyiv claimed it as a security measure to prevent Russia from forming "private" army units.
Martial law was declared over a televised address by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. The exact nature of restrictions remain to be defined. However, the imposition is expected to lead to tougher curbs on meetings and movements of political parties.
Martial law was introduced after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine. Putin further warned other nations against interfering with Russian action saying that it would lead to "consequences you have never seen."
According to Putin, the military operation was deemed necessary to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine. The United States had earlier said that this would be the claim Putin would make in invade Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the BBC reports that troops are moving in from Belarus, a Russian ally. Ukrainian officials say troops in Belarus are joining in the Russian attack. While Russian forces are primarily attacking from the east, troops coming in from Ukraine means the country is now facing an attack from the north.