Keith Darden, The Washington Post's contributor explains how it came to the martial law in Ukraine after the attack on the Ukrainian Navy in the Kerch Strait.
'On Monday, the Ukrainian government imposed martial law in 10 of its 25 provinces — the first time the country’s government took this step since Ukraine became independent in 1991. The declaration of martial law was in response to Russia’s attack on, and subsequent seizure of, three Ukrainian naval vessels attempting to cross through the narrow Kerch Strait between the Russian mainland and the contested Crimean Peninsula', reads the opening paragraph.
'Ukraine’s military conflict with Russia and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has been going on for nearly five years. This conflict has cost more than 10,000 lives and has seen Ukraine lose control over Crimea and parts of the Donbass region. But why introduce martial law now? The reason may have just as much to do with Ukrainian electoral politics as it does with national security', the article goes on.
'Given that the government has imposed martial law in those parts of Ukraine where Russian-language media is most popular, any Russian-language opposition media would seem to be especially vulnerable in the upcoming months. More generally, the fact that martial law is being imposed disproportionately on Russian-speaking regions is likely to further polarize an already deeply divided Ukraine. Rather than shoring up Ukraine’s territorial integrity, martial law could have the paradoxical effect of further alienating the citizens in Ukraine’s sensitive border regions. If that were the case, martial law could end up undermining national security against Russian aggression by potentially alienating those in the south and east that are most vulnerable to Russian expansion', Darden concludes.
Read the full story here.