Ukraine backs martial law after confrontation at sea with Russia
Ukraine’s parliament approved the introduction of martial law in border regions on Monday, as Russian state TV aired images of Ukrainian sailors captured after Moscow seized three of Kiev’s ships in a confrontation at sea.
After intense debate, 276 lawmakers voted in favour of President Petro Poroshenko’s request for martial law in border areas for 30 days.
The decision came after Russian forces boarded and captured Kiev’s ships on Sunday, with Moscow accusing the vessels of illegally entering Russian waters off the coast of Crimea in the Sea of Azov.
Ukraine and its Western allies say Russia illegally blocked the strait and acted against international law by grabbing the vessels and sailors.
The martial law gives Ukrainian authorities the power to mobilise citizens with military experience, regulate the media and restrict public rallies.