Russia has announced martial law in four regions of Ukraine, including Crimea. The Kremlin is claiming to have annexed the regions, but it is unclear if it controls all of them. Ukraine’s foreign ministry condemned the decree as a “state of terror” and said it aimed to suppress resistance among local residents.
The declaration could mean restrictions on travel and public gatherings, tighter censorship, and more authority for law enforcement agencies. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, two men from a former Soviet republic opened fire on volunteer soldiers during target practice and were killed by return fire. It is unclear how martial law will affect the country’s citizens, but the move has a strong repercussion on the country’s economy.
As Ukrainian forces advance on Russian positions in eastern Ukraine, the Russian government is preparing for more attacks. Meanwhile, pro-Russian separatist officials have urged residents of Kherson to evacuate. In an operation that will take a week, at least 50,000 people are set to be evacuated. In addition, President Volodymyr Zelensky is meeting with his energy advisers to address how to maintain power supplies. Currently, about 30 percent of the country’s power stations have been damaged by Russian attacks since Oct. 10. As winter approaches, fears of power outages increase.
In response to these mounting pressures on Russia, the Russian president has tightened his grip on the occupied parts of Ukraine. But Russian troops are losing ground. In the city of Kherson, for example, the Russian military commander has admitted that its hold is slipping. The Ukrainian forces are advancing along both sides of the river, and some bridges near Kherson have been destroyed.