MOSCOW (Dispatches) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a decree on the introduction of a state of martial law in Kherson, Zaporozhye, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic.
“I’ve signed a decree on the introduction of a state of martial law in these four constituent entities of the Russian Federation. It will immediately be sent for approval to the Federation Council [Russia’s upper house of parliament], and the State Duma will be informed of the decision,” Putin said, speaking at a meeting of the Russian Security Council, RIA Novosti reported.
The Federation Council convened on Wednesday to rubber stamp the president’s request.
“The constitutional laws on the admission of four new regions into the Russian Federation have come into force. The Kiev regime, as you are aware, has refused to recognize the will and choice of the people, and has rejected any proposals for negotiations. On the contrary, shelling continues. Innocent people are dying,” Putin said.
“The Neo-Nazis are using openly terrorist methods, sabotaging critical infrastructure, assassinating representatives of local authorities,” the president added.
Putin instructed the government to create a “special coordinating council” to coordinate efforts to improve security, with the council to be headed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
The decree also introduces a ‘high alert regime’ in areas of the Southern Federal District including Crimea, Krasnodar, Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk and Rostov. These regions’ authorities are instructed to exercise their authority as necessary on the implementation of measures to ensure readiness for territorial and civil defense, the protection of the population in emergency situations, and to meet the needs of the Russian Armed Forces and other military formations, security organs, and local residents.
Region heads are tasked with strengthening public order and safety, including the protection of military and important state facilities, vital infrastructure, transport, communications, energy facilities, and sensitive sites which pose an increased risk to the life and safety of people and the natural environment.
U.S. Support to Ukraine Will ‘Lead to Its Destruction’
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Wednesday that U.S. intentions to “strengthen the position” of Kiev will only lead to “the destruction of Ukraine.”
“The U.S. is supplying weapons to destroy the country that they have taken care of Ukraine for many years. This is such a vital contradiction. They seem to want to strengthen and strengthen, but everything leads to the opposite result… Washington’s position, which relies on inflating the conflict, leads to the destruction of Ukraine,” Maria Zakharova said on Sputnik Radio.
Zakharova further noted that many in Ukraine already understand this, adding that “the U.S. did not plan any peace, prosperity, or democracy on the territory of Ukraine”.
“They intended to use the conflict as a springboard, as a training ground, as a tool,” she said.
The statement comes in response to remarks made by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried during a briefing on Tuesday, who said that Washington intends to provide Ukraine with a “maximally strong” position by the time peace talks with Russia begin.
“We will continue to assist the people of Ukraine and provide them with support to help them defend themselves and their territory against Russia’s illegal invasion. We will do this for as long as it takes,” Donfried added.
Donfried said the referendums are “propaganda stunts to try to mask futile attempts at a land grab in Ukraine”, adding that the results were “orchestrated” and “do not reflect the will of the people in Ukraine”.