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Putin declares martial law in annexed Ukrainian regions
Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday that he has signed a decree implementing martial law in Ukraine's Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, which Russia annexed in late September.
Speaking at a meeting of Russia's National Security Council, the Russian president said that the territories were in fact under martial law even before their "incorporation into Russia." "Now we need to make [the martial law] official under Russian law. I have therefore signed an order imposing martial law in these four subjects of the Russian Federation," he said.
Putin also announced that the heads of Russia's regions will be granted additional powers to ensure security.
According to Putin's decree itself, a "territorial defense" will be created in the annexed territories. It also says that a "medium alert mode" (tantamount to a slightly milder version of martial law) is in effect in eight of Russia's regions, while a "heightened alert mode" is in place in the country's Central and Southern federal districts.
In addition, Putin instructed the Russian government to prepare draft legislation to create a new coordination council under the Cabinet of Ministers to "meet the needs that arise during the course of the special military operation." In a separate order, he established a minimum guaranteed payment of 195,000 rubles (about $3,173) a month to draftees.
Journalist Farida Rustamova noted that the third point of the decree reads as follows: "When necessary, other measures set out by [Russia's federal law 'On Martial Law'] can be applied in the Russian Federation during the period of martial law." This ostensibly grants the Russian authorities new powers outside of the occupied regions, where martial law has technically not been declared.
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