Ukraine’s national security council will introduce a state of emergency Wednesday across the entire country except for eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where a state of emergency has been in place since 2014. Both areas are controlled by Russian-backed separatists and are now recognized by Russia.

The council’s secretary Oleksiy Danilov will ask parliament to approve the emergency order, which will give power to authorities to decide on matters including people’s movements inside affected regions, curfews, restrictions on mass gatherings and media, and evacuations, and will attempt to mitigate any spillover of insurgency from Donetsk and Luhansk into the rest of the country. Local authorities will decide on which restrictions to implement, Danilov said noting that new safety protocols will be introduced upon parliamentary approval, including vehicle checks.

The AFP quoted Danilov as saying each region in Ukraine will have specific safety protocols. When asked what this could be, he said, “this could be added enforcement of public order.”

“These are preventive measures to ensure that calm remains in the country and that our economy continues functioning,” Mr. Danilov said.

Lawmakers in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, asked for stricter sanctions on Russia following the EU and US slapping Russia with sanctions that target the economy and Russian President Putin’s billionaire friends group.

President Biden on Tuesday afternoon avoided asserting that a Russian “invasion” had already taken place and opted for the phrasing that Putin is “setting up for an invasion” – which if accomplished will result in severe US sanctions “far beyond 2014”. Biden prefaced this by saying the US believes Russia will “extend deeper” beyond the Donbas.

Biden introduced the “first tranche of sanctions to impose costs on Russia,” including “implementing full blocking sanctions” on two major banking institutions, including a top military bank. He also unveiled sanctions on Russia’s sovereign debt and previewed punitive measures on certain Russian elites and their family members.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted Wednesday that even more sanctions are needed “to stop Putin from further aggression.” He added: “Now it is necessary to increase the pressure. Strike the Russian economy and Putin’s entourage.”

“Plan A is to utilize every tool of diplomacy, to deter Russia and prevent further escalation,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at a press conference with Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday.

“And if that fails, plan B is to fight for every inch of our land, and every city and every village. To fight until we win.”

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry advised citizens to leave Russia immediately, citing “the intensification of Russian aggression against Ukraine” that may make it impossible for its consulates to offer help inside Russia. It also advised Ukrainians to avoid any travel to Russia.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has started drafting reservists aged 18-60 into the armed forces following a decree by President Zelensky.

Republished from with permission

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