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On November 25, Russian border patrol boats seized three Ukrainian naval vessels in the Azov Sea — two artillery boats and a tugboat — as they were attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait and used weapons to force them to stop. Twenty-four Ukrainian sailors are still detained by the Russian armed forces, despite the international appeals for their immediate release.

In response,the Ukrainian parliament voted in favour of President Petro Poroshenko’s request for martial law, which gives authorities the power to mobilise citizens with military experience, regulate the media and restrict public rallies in certain areas. It will stay in force for thirty days starting from November 28 in ten Ukrainian regions bordering Russia, the Black Sea and the Azov Sea[1]. During the period of the martial law, male Russian citizens between 16 and 60 years of age will be denied entry to Ukraine[2].

As the international community proclaims its unanimous concern for Russia’s violation of international law, is the European Union presenting a united front in its promise to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity?

 

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[1]  https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/zayava-prezidenta-ukrayini-shodo-zatverdzhennya-ukazu-pro-vv-51362

[2] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-russia-ban/ukraine-bans-entry-to-russian-adult-men-border-service-chief-idUSKCN1NZ0QJ

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