Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared martial law in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia, the four regions of Ukraine recently annexed by Russia.
According to a statement by Putin on Wednesday, the actions were meant to strengthen the stability of the economy, industry, and production in support of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, though he did not immediately specify what would be done under martial law.
In remarks broadcast to his Security Council, he added, “We are working on solving very complex, large-scale tasks to assure a reliable future for Russia, the future of our people.”
An adviser to the Ukrainian president, Mykhailo Podolyak, criticized the action and declared that Kyiv will keep up its counter-offensives against Russian forces in the country.
He wrote on Twitter, “Martial law implementation on the occupied territories by Russia should be considered only as a pseudo-legalization of the looting of Ukrainians’ property.”
Putin also granted the leaders of all Russian regions new emergency powers. The government was ordered to form a special Coordination Committee led by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to help Moscow’s military effort in Ukraine.
According to the Russian state news agency TASS, the decree would be submitted to the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, for approval, and the State Duma would be informed of the outcome.
Putin did not go into specifics of the additional authority that will be granted to Russian area leaders under his directive, but he did state that it will take effect on Thursday.
Draft legislation suggests it may include travel and public gathering limitations, more stringent censorship, and increased power for law enforcement organizations.