KIEV, December 26. /TASS/. Ukraine’s martial law, which was declared in some of the country’s regions a month ago and expired on Wednesday, turned out to be a PR stunt, Head of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Political Management Ruslan Bortnik told TASS.
“Over the past month, we watched an imitation of martial law in Ukraine, it did not make the Ukrainian Armed Forces stronger though it did become a shock for the country’s economy, first and foremost, because of a drop in investments and currency fluctuations. It also deepened the crisis of trust between the president the oligarchs, as well as between the president and the parliamentary parties,” the expert said.
According to Bortnik, initially, the Ukrainian authorities wanted to prove that the martial law declaration was important, as they sought to, first, delay the presidential election, second, to take control of the situation ahead of the election and also of the election money, particularly those allocated by oligarchs. “Since they failed to achieve these goals, martial law turned into a PR stunt as they desperately tried to come up with some reasons to justify it by making the military train, setting up checkpoints and making political statements, thus imitating martial law to regain their position in the information field,” he noted.
The attempt proved futile and as a result, President Pyotr Poroshenko will face the most damage. “The main outcome is that the people’s confidence in the president fell further. According to pollsters, 60% of Ukrainians believe that the head of state just tried to disrupt the election. Western partners also did not appreciate the move, so Poroshenko now has less chances to be re-elected than he did before,” Bortnik said.
The expert doubts that a new martial law will be declared in Ukraine in the near future. “Parliament members have pointedly gone on vacation, thought martial law stipulates that the parliament must continue its sessions. There is nobody to make a decision on extending martial law or declaring a new one,” he said.
On November 26, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) approved President Pyotr Poroshenko’s decree declaring a 30-say martial law in the Vinnitsa, Lugansk, Nikolayev, Odessa, Sumy, Kharkov, Chernigov, Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, as well as in Ukraine’s territorial waters in the Sea of Azov.
An incident in the Kerch Strait was used as an excuse for the move. On November 25, three Ukrainian navy ships illegally crossed Russia’s border and tried to carry out some illegal actions in Russian territorial waters on Sunday night. They ignored legitimate demands to stop issued by vessels belonging to the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet and continued maneuvering dangerously. In order to stop the Ukrainian ships, weapons had to be used. The three vessels were detained in Russian territorial waters. Three Ukrainian military servicemen suffered light wounds and were provided with medical assistance. A criminal investigation has been opened into the border incident. The 24 Ukrainian crew members have been arrested for two months for violating the Russian state border. If found guilty, they may face up to six years in prison.
Article Sourced via TASS