Ukraine votes to impose martial law amid tensions with Russia 2 years ago

Ukraine votes to impose martial law amid tensions with Russia

The law could give the government extraordinary powers over civil society.

Ukraine's parliament has voted to support the president's motion to impose martial law for 30 days.

They made the decision after Russia seized three Ukrainian navy ships and detained 24 sailors in a key waterway that holds strategic importance for both countries.

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Ukraine said it was a Russian "act of aggression". Moscow said the ships had illegally entered its waters.

The naval clash is the first time Russia and Ukraine have come into open conflict in recent years, although Ukrainian forces have been fighting Russian-backed separatists and Russian "volunteers" in the east since 2014.

President Petro Poroshenko had asked legislators to back his motion to impose martial law after Sunday's incident.

Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the martial law motion after a five-hour debate.

After heated debate in Ukraine's parliament, it was decided martial law should be introduced in the following areas:

  • Five regions bordering Russian territory
  • Two regions bordering Moldova's breakaway Transdnistria region
  • Three regions on the Black Sea/Sea of Azov coast