On the evening of November 26, the Verkhovna Rada approved the presidential decree “On the introduction of martial law in Ukraine.” Martial law is introduced in 10 regions of Ukraine, located along the Russian, Moldovan (part of unrecognized Transnistria) border and the coast of the Black and Azov Seas – Vinnytsia, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv regions. The period of martial law was reduced to 30 days and the presidential election was scheduled for March 31, 2019.
Ukraine prepares for martial law in regions, builds anti-tank ditches and checkpoints. In Vinnytisia region, the mobilization reserve is being established and immediate reserve forces are being notified.
Zaporizhia region which has more than 200 km of the Azov coast has done since 2014: stepping-up, checkpoints. Mykolaiv region lives and usual stating that as the border area, they are always ready. The region holds local drills, have guidelines and both the servicemen and the community of Mykolaiv take it calmly and adequately.
It’s been 2 years since Kherson region has established our system of territorial defense. The region was the first one in Ukraine to do so. Kherson is constantly carrying out exercises. A month the region completed a large-scale training in the entire area.
A number of state bodies and organizations that provide basic needs for the life of Ukrainians have commented on how martial law would affect the work of various spheres.
What does martial law mean and what it provides from the legal point of view?
“The military situation will not affect the work of banks in Ukraine,” said Head of the National Bank (NBU), Yakiv Smoliy. “The decisions will not in any way affect the work of the banking system, bank branches and offices will work as usual, and decisions will not affect the work of the banks,” he noted. According to Smoliy, the banking system is ready for uninterrupted operation in the new conditions. At the same time, the NBU asked the banks to fill ATMs with money.
Privatbank and Oschadbank
The press services of these state financial institutions explained that the operation of banks has not changed after announcing the military situation.
“The branches and electronic services of Privatbank work and will work as usual,” said Petro Krumhanzl, chairman of the bank’s board.
“Oschadbank operates normally in all regions of Ukraine. There are no restrictions regarding the conduct of operations or changes in the opening hours. The bank ensures the stable operation of its electronic services, uninterrupted payments, collection and replenishment of the ATM and terminal networks,” the bank's press service informed.
Salaries and social benefits
Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko said that social benefits and salaries will be charged on time. "All social payments, benefits, pensions, salaries, and other payments will be made on time, in full and without restrictions," Rozenko assured.
The Social Security Fund promises that all types of material support, insurance payments, medical, and social services will be provided uninterruptedly and in full.
Acting Health Minister Uliana Suprun said that in a state of martial law, local residents of the respective regions will receive medical care without changes. Moreover, certain medical institutions will provide the necessary and highly specialized medical aid to the Ukrainian military.
The Ministry of Education and Science said that the usual work of educational institutions will not be disrupted. This can happen only if required by the safety of children and the protection of the state. Education Minister Lilia Hrynevych stressed that no changes regarding access control in institutions, the schedule of their work, etc., are yet to be expected.
The Ministry of Agrarian Policy assured that there are no threats and risks for the lack of food for Ukrainians, living in the martial law zone. “The supply of basic foodstuffs significantly exceeds the forecasted demand, and most of the areas in which the martial law is introduced do not suffer from the lack of food goods,” the first deputy minister said.
Three of the largest Ukrainian mobile operators Kyivstar, Vodafone Ukraine, and lifecell are also ready for stable operating during the martial law regime.
All Ukrainian stations, airports, railway stations, and ports are heavily guarded. In addition, a special mode of operation of railway transport is introduced, which provides for the carrying capacity of the railway network and the corresponding rolling stock for defense needs in the main areas determined by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Ukrzaliznytsia state railways intends to provide the train schedule "along with all non-prohibited routes" in wartime conditions. In the event of a change in the logistics of the carriage of goods by sea, in particular, in the Azov region, Ukrzaliznytsia is ready for the reorientation of cargo to the other ports.
Boryspil airport is convinced that martial law will not affect the mobility of the population. The press services of other Ukrainian airports also declare operation in normal mode.
The press service of the company “Ukraine International Airlines” stated that currently, the document approved by the Parliament does not impose any restrictions on economic activities throughout Ukraine. “Accordingly, the air communication to/from and within Ukraine is carried out in a regular mode,” the report said.
Ukrposhta state postal company is working and will continue to do so in a regular mode: the conditions for paying pensions and sending mail correspondence will not change. "Customers will continue to receive services in full. We will not change the prices for services. The working schedule is not changed too," the state company notes.
The introduction of martial law now does not impose restrictions on economic activities, business entities, and citizens can carry out financial operations in the usual way, the Ministry of Economic Development stated.
Cooperation with the IMF
IMF press service states that the institution has experience of cooperation with countries, where such decisions have been made, therefore they are convinced that the martial rule would not affect relations with Ukraine.
State Ukrenergo Company is ready to work in the military law regime. "The company has taken all the necessary measures to ensure reliable operation of the United Energy System of Ukraine to switch to the operating mode under martial law," the press service said. In turn, Ukrtransnafta is ready to ensure uninterrupted supply of oil to the refineries of Ukraine and the European Union under martial law.
Ukroboronprom, an association of multi-product enterprises in various sectors of the defense industry of Ukraine, is switching to a special mode in 10 regions. It includes a possible change in the schedule of its work, production activities and the implementation of tasks related to the functioning of the state system of civil protection.
As it was reported, Viktor Muzhenko, the Head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, told the entire course of events which lead to the escalation of the crisis in the Sea of Azov at the National Security and Defence Council session.
Earlier, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy acted aggressively against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. According to Muzhenko, the scheduled transfer began on November 24. During the transfer, they received a message which said that the passage zone in Kerch Strait was closing. Later, the Ukrainian vessels received a message that they had to move to the waiting area, where the order of the passage under the Kerch Bridge would be defined. The Russian side opened fire, captured the Ukrainian vessels. Six military men out of 23, who were on the vessels, got injured during confrontations.
It is specified that Don border guard cruiser rammed the Ukrainian armored artillery boat.
The Ukrainian Navy states that "the dispatcher service of the occupiers refuses to ensure the right of freedom of navigation, guaranteed by international agreements." Thus, according to the Ukrainian side, Russia has once again demonstrated its aggressive nature and complete disregard for the norms of international law.