On Monday, the Ukrainian parliament voted to impose martial law for 30 days in ten provinces bordering Russia, Belarus and Moldova’s “breakaway republic” of Trans-Dniester. Martial law will start at 9am on Wednesday 28th November and run until the 27th of December.
Martial law will include –
- calling up reservists,
- securing government locations and vital infrastructure,
- and strengthening border defences.
At this stage there is no curfew. Visitors should expect to see more roadblocks and checkpoints. Make sure you carry your passport at all times, as required by Ukrainian law, as well as any other necessary paperwork. Expect delays when travelling.
Make sure you monitor local media and subscribe to alerts from your embassy.
Kerch Strait clash
This is the response of the Ukrainian authorities to clashes in the Kerch Strait over the weekend, in which Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships.
Map locating the Kerch Strait & the Sea of Azov where Ukrainian ships were seized by Russia pic.twitter.com/ScMtRvKhYH
— AFP news agency (@AFP) November 26, 2018
The two Ukrainian artillery ships and a tug boat were passing through the narrow Kerch Strait, from the port of Odessa on the Black Sea to Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. The tug was rammed by a Russian naval ship and all three vessels were seized.
It is a very Russian style: to provoke and then escalate the conflict.
Russian coast guard vessel rammed Ukrainian tugboats, which was traveling with two Ukrainian navy artillery boats from Odessa on the Black Sea to Mariupol in the Sea of Azov, via the Kerch Strait. pic.twitter.com/6Ekdn5mSEs
— Franak Viačorka (@franakviacorka) November 25, 2018
The actions have been condemned by the United Nations and many governments – see headlines below. Three of the captured sailors appeared in Russian media. The head of the Ukrainian navy has dismissed the videos, saying the ‘three men had given false statements under duress.’
Some Ukrainians fear that Russia’s muscle-flexing is a prelude to an assault on Ukraine’s eastern coastline https://t.co/JhY8h0fjTf
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) November 26, 2018
— Smartraveller (@Smartraveller) November 27, 2018
#Ukraine Ukraine is imposing martial law in parts of the country from 28 November to 27 December. Increased security presence is likely in these areas. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities. https://t.co/SXzWjmimWp pic.twitter.com/MxDUnWleMD
— FCO travel advice (@FCOtravel) November 27, 2018
#Ukraine Security Alert: The Ukrainian parliament has approved a 30-day period of martial law effective November 28 at 14:00 for 10 regions: Vinnitsya, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Kherson, Donetsk, and Zaporizhzhya. https://t.co/iF4AvRIew5 pic.twitter.com/mQoOm23CMY
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) November 27, 2018
From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office –
From 9am local time on 28 November until 27 December 2018, Ukraine is imposing martial law in parts of the country bordering Russia, the Sea of Azov, the Black Sea and the Transnistria region of Moldova. The oblasts affected are: Chernihiv, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Luhansk, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Sumy, Vinnytsia and Zaporizhia.
Martial law provisions announced on 26 November include:
- adjusting the mobilisation plan of the Armed Forces and calling up a number of reserves
- organising the defence of government structures, industrial areas, administrative centres and vital infrastructure, and measures to ensure public order
- strengthening protection of the border with Russia and the administrative boundary with Crimea
As a result, you may see increased numbers of security forces on the streets of Ukraine’s cities, more frequent checkpoints, and increased checks if you are crossing to/from Crimea, or between Ukraine and Russia. No curfew has been imposed. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities. Remember that it is a requirement of Ukrainian law that you should carry your passport with you at all times as proof of ID.
Events in Ukraine are fast moving. You should remain vigilant throughout Ukraine, monitor the media and this travel advice regularly, subscribe to email alerts and read our advice on how to deal with a crisis overseas.
On 25 November, Russia seized 3 Ukrainian navy vessels in transit through the Kerch Straits into the Sea of Azov. Passage of all shipping through the Kerch Straits was temporarily stopped by Russia.
from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ukraine
Headlines and news coverage
- NPR: Ukraine Parliament Approves Martial Law After Naval Skirmish With Russia
- BBC News: Ukraine-Russia sea clash: Captured sailors shown on Russia TV
- BBC News: Why Ukraine-Russia sea clash is fraught with risk
- Deutsche Welle: What you need to know about the conflict in the Sea of Azov
Ukraine’s parliament has agreed to impose martial law in 10 of its provinces to combat “growing aggression from Russia.” https://t.co/wiLje0L6aW
— NPR (@NPR) November 27, 2018
Ukraine-Russia sea clash: Captured sailors shown on Russia TV https://t.co/drEzfAcSN0
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 27, 2018
Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of Ukraine’s security service, has confirmed that two of the service’s military counterintelligence agents were aboard the Ukrainian naval vessels attacked & captured by Russia’s coast guard in the Kerch Strait. https://t.co/qUlXUiPdBZ #UkraineUnderAttack pic.twitter.com/SwdiijxwB2
— Kyiv Post (@KyivPost) November 27, 2018
Russia’s attempt to use emergency United Nations Security Council session to blame Ukraine for escalation in their conflict backfired, as Western nations accuse the Russians of recklessness in Sunday confrontation at sea https://t.co/Cfq8tlzbzg
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) November 27, 2018
Poland would join any moves to step up Russian sanctions over Ukraine: president https://t.co/yLNUIGeDlR
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) November 27, 2018
France calls on Russia and Ukraine to scale back tensions https://t.co/sq3cw4IHYo
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) November 27, 2018
— DW Politics (@dw_politics) November 27, 2018
Here’s my detailed dispatch (and thread) about the escalating tensions between Kyiv and Moscow in the Sea of Azov, from early August. Many people here saw today’s incident coming long ago. But this new front in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict hasn’t garnered much int’l attn. https://t.co/dEYM0C8gwZ
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) November 25, 2018
“Russia must not be allowed to further erode Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”
— Foreign Office 🇬🇧 (@foreignoffice) November 26, 2018
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