Ukraine Declares Martial Law After Russian Naval Attack
Ukraine’s parliament voted Monday to impose martial law in the country to fight what its president called “growing aggression” from Moscow after a weekend naval confrontation off the disputed Crimean Peninsula in which Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels amid renewed tensions between the neighbors.
It’s the first time Ukraine has enacted martial law since the conflict with Russia began in 2014, indicating a major escalation in tensions between the two former Soviet Republics.
The law which could give the government extraordinary powers over civil society, will start on November 28 and will last 30 days. In Parliament, 276 members voted for the motion.
The Ukrainian government’s introduction of martial law follows a confrontation with Russia Sunday around a waterway linking the Azov Sea and the Black Sea.
Ukraine said two of its small gunboats and one tugboat were attacked by Russian naval forces Sunday after entering the Kerch Strait en route to the city of Mariupol.
Video of the incident released by Ukrainian officials appeared to show a Russian ship ramming the Ukrainian tugboat.