Russian President Vladimir Putin declared martial law Wednesday in the four Ukranian regions Russia annexed last month.
With this martial law in place, Putin gave the governors of the new Russian territories emergency powers in Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia, the Associated Press reported.
While Putin did not specifically outline the martial law measures or the parameters of the emergency powers he granted, he announced that they would go into effect on Thursday.
“Now we need to formalize this regime within the framework of Russian legislation. Therefore, I signed a decree on the introduction of martial law in these four subjects of the Russian Federation,” Putin said in a televised national address, NBC News reported.
There is still controversy over whether the annexation of the Ukranian territory was legitimate.
Russia held referendums in the four regions, but many in the international community, as well as Ukraine, said they were illegitimate because they involved voter intimidation to achieve what some called a pre-ordained outcome, NBC News reported.
Putin’s new declaration seems to give Russia even more power over the regions.
The upper house of Russia’s parliament backed Putin’s decision and approved accompanying legislation.
The AP reported that the legislation for the martial law declaration could potentially put restrictions on travel and gatherings while giving law enforcement more authority.
Putin’s order gave law enforcement a deadline of three days to develop plans and defense forces in the four annexed regions, the AP reported.
The Wall Street Journal, quoting the text of the law published on a government website, reported that Putin’s martial law declaration gives Moscow-backed local authorities power to enforce detentions of anyone for up to 30 days, curfews, forced resettlement, the internment of citizens from Ukraine and more.
Putin’s televised remarks to the Security Council about the martial law declaration portrayed his move as necessary to protect Russia in the current war, the AP reported.
“We are working to solve very difficult large-scale tasks to ensure Russia’s security and safe future, to protect our people,” Putin said.
“Those who are on the frontlines or undergoing training at firing ranges and training centers should feel our support and know that they have our big, great country and unified people behind their back,” he added, according to the AP.
The decision to enact martial law comes after a week of particularly heated combat between Ukrainian and Russian forces, NBC reported.
Meanwhile, the imposition of martial law is already being called a decision of oppression by some in Ukraine.
The Kyiv Independent, which provides English-language reporting on Ukraine, tweeted that Putin’s declaration is just a move to suppress anyone who disagrees with the annexation of the regions.
“Foreign Ministry: Martial law in occupied territories ‘imposed’ to suppress local resistance. Russia’s recent move aims to ‘suppress the resistance of the residents who oppose Russia’s occupation’ in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the ministry said,” the Kyiv Independent tweeted.
⚡️Foreign Ministry: Martial law in occupied territories ‘imposed’ to suppress local resistance.
Russia’s recent move aims to “suppress the resistance of the residents who oppose Russia’s occupation” in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the ministry said.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) October 19, 2022
Others on Twitter are comparing Putin to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in light of his treatment of the annexed regions.
“This whole decree screams WW2 cosplay. To paraphrase what an esteemed Russian politologist, Kirill Rogov, recently said – in February Putin was cosplaying 1945, now he’s cosplaying 1941. Putin is trying to be Stalin, Bulganin and Zhukov combined,” one political analyst, Aleksandar Djokic tweeted.
This whole decree screams WW2 cosplay. To paraphrase what an esteemed Russian politologist, Kirill Rogov, recently said – in February Putin was cosplaying 1945, now he’s cosplaying 1941. Putin is trying to be Stalin, Bulganin and Zhukov combined.
— Aleksandar Djokic (Александар Джокич) (@polidemitolog) October 19, 2022
Meanwhile, other Russian officials have declared this decision and other moves that the Russian government is making as protective, defensive decisions.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that the Security Council would continue to support Russia’s military efforts by supplying equipment, technology, transportation and construction needs, the Journal reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.