Putin declares state of war in four annexed Ukrainian regions
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has declared a state of war in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Herson and Zaporizhia, giving additional powers to the heads of Russia’s regions.
These four Ukrainian regions Moscow claims to have annexed.
”I have signed the decree declaring a state of war on these four subjects of the Russian Federation, ” Putin said during a meeting of Russia’s National Security Council, which was broadcast live.
The Kremlin then issued a decree saying the state of war would take effect on the morning of October 20.
Putin did not indicate what concrete steps would be taken after the declaration of the state of war.
His decree gives law enforcement agencies three days to submit specific proposals.
” We are working to resolve the difficult issues, to protect Russia’s security, to guarantee a safe future, to protect our people, ” Putin said.
“Those who are on the lines of war or are being trained for war in training centers should feel our support and should know that they have the country and the people behind them,” he added.
Putin also signed another decree on October 19, according to which, during the implementation of the state of war, “territorial defense” systems will be organized in the annexed territories, while in eight other regions the so-called “mid-level response” will be announced.
The decree also said that “high alert” will be declared in Russia’s central and southern regions, while other regions of the country will announce “mid-level readiness”.
“If necessary, other measures will be imposed on the state of war,” the decree said. Analysts said parts of the decree could mean a state of war could be declared in other parts of Russia where no war is currently underway.
These decisions, after almost eight months of war on Ukraine, mark the latest escalation by Putin, whose military has faced a series of defeats after launching a counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces in early September.
By extending the decree to regions outside Ukraine, the move ensures that more Russians, already angered by the military mobilization announced last month, will feel the effects of the war even more in their lives.
The decree obliges regional governors to take measures to ensure the implementation of what Russia calls a “special military operation in Ukraine” and to provide security in regions where Russian troops are stationed.
Putin also ordered the government to establish a special coordination council, which will be overseen by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. This council is intended to cooperate with Russian regions to strengthen Moscow’s war effort.
Putin said his decision “will be sent immediately ” for approval to the Upper House of the Russian parliament. He added that the Lower House has also been informed of his decision.
Mykhaylo Podolyak, Ukraine’s presidential adviser, said Putin’s decision was a “pseudo-legalization of looting of Ukrainian property”.
“This does not change anything for Ukraine: we will continue the liberation of the occupied territories,” Podolyak said in a post on Twitter after Putin announced the declaration of a state of war in the four Ukrainian regions.
The United States says declaring a state of war is a desperate tactic by Russia.
Any claim by Russia over Ukrainian regions is “illegitimate,” US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said. He added that Russia ” has no jurisdiction” over these territories.
Russia launched the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24. After Moscow held fake referendums in the four Ukrainian regions, on September 30, Putin signed a decree to annex them. Kiev and the West have called the annexation of four Ukrainian regions that are partly occupied by Russian forces, illegal./REL/