At midnight on November 26, Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) meeting was held in Kyiv, during which a possibility of imposing martial law was considered.
Outcomes of the NSDC meeting:
1) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko supported the position of the military committee to impose martial law.
"As president, as a supreme commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in accordance with the Constitution, I have decided to support the proposal of the military committee, make a decision at the NSDC meeting and appeal to the Verkhovna Rada with it."
The president has underlined that the introduction of martial law does not mean that Ukraine would carry out any offensive actions.
2) According to Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko, the fate of the Ukrainian sailors from the ships captured in the Sea of Azov remains unknown.
3) According to the head of the National Bank, Yakiv Smoliy, the martial law would not affect the work of banks in Ukraine.
4) According to head of the State Border Service of Ukraine Petro Tsyhykalo, during the period of martial law, the State Border Service would switch to an enhanced regime of border and defense protection.
5) Following the meeting, the National Security Council sent a proposal to the Parliament to impose martial law for 60 days. Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada will hold an emergency meeting on November 26 at 16:00.
The main parameters of the regime are defined by Ukraine’s law "On legal regime of martial law," adopted on June 6, 2000, under President Leonid Kuchma.
“Martial law is a special legal regime, which is introduced in Ukraine or in its particular areas in case of armed aggression or a threat of attack, danger to the state independence of Ukraine and its territorial integrity. Martial law envisages providing relevant state bodies, military command, and bodies of local self-government with authorities necessary to remove the threat and ensure national security.
The goal of introducing martial law is to establish conditions for enabling state bodies, military command, bodies of local self-government, enterprises, institutions, and organizations to fulfill the authorities allocated to them in case of armed aggression or a threat of attack, danger to the state independence of Ukraine and its territorial integrity.” (article 1 of the Law "On legal regime of martial law ").
The essence of martial law as a special legal regime is an empowerment of primarily military command (and the central and local authorities) with extraordinary competencies.
It includes “temporary, due to the threat, restriction of the constitutional rights and freedoms of a person and citizen, rights and legal interests of legal entities with an indication of the duration of these restrictions:”
- an emergency situation caused by a military invasion or the threat of such an attack;
- endowing military units and state bodies with special rights;
- restriction of the rights of the civilians and imposing an obligation to perform public works or to provide their property for the needs of the army (if required by the Ukrainian military).
Four steps of imposing martial law:
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council is preparing and submitting proposals on the imposition of martial law throughout Ukraine or its part.
Presidential Administration issues a corresponding decree, the president signs it.
Verkhovna Rada approves this decree.
The decree is announced.
Some additional options:
1) Evacuation of the population and enterprises from hazardous areas.
2) Possible introduction of labor service for able-bodied citizens.
3) Possible introduction of curfew.
4) Possible introduction of control over the media.
5) Possible withdrawal of any property of private owners and government agencies.
6) Use of premises and equipment of factories, offices, etc. for defense purposes.
1) Ban on making amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine;
2) Ban on any elections and referendums.
3) Ban on holding any strikes.