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Christopher Miller @ChristopherJM
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Snowy morning in Kyiv, where lawmakers will consider @poroshenko's proposal to impose martial law after midnight military council meeting called in response to Russia's aggression in Kerch Strait. Parliament session at 4pm. If you're just catching up:
Development this morning: Russia has reopened the Kerch Strait to merchant traffic after using a massive ship to block it yesterday.
Still no reaction from the White House or State Department, but here's what the US special envoy for Ukraine has to say about yesterday's incident:
Ukraine's Armed Forces have been put on full combat alert, announces the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Video from Kerch showing damaged and detained Ukrainian vessels being held in port as morning call sounds. via @KerchFM
Ukraine’s President Poroshenko demands release of 23 captured Ukrainian sailors and three Navy vessels seized by Russia, "as a first step, and de-escalation in other directions."…
Six Ukrainian sailors who were wounded after Russian Navy ships opened fire yesterday near the Kerch Strait have been taken to Moscow, three operated on, according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's representative for Crimea, Borys Babin. via 112 Channel and Interfax
FWIW, @HromadskeUA has been told something different. Conflicting reports about the location of Ukrainian servicemen detained by Russia at sea.
Russian state media reporting that Moscow "warns" Kyiv of "consequences" for what it said was an "attempt to provoke conflict after Kerch Strait standoff."
It was Russian ships that opened fire on Ukrainian ships. But Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov blames Ukraine for "provocation." He adds, Russia is no longer concerned about possible sanctions over the incident.…
Asked if Putin gave order to attack Ukrainian vessels, spox Dmitry Peskov told reporters, "This was not an attack, but actions necessary to prevent the violation of Russia's state border." Does this suggest Ukrainian ships hadn't even reached what Russia claims are its waters?
Interfax was source of that info and Peskov quote.
Ukraine's National Bank says its Governor Yakiv Smolii held an extraordinary meeting with heads of the country's 40 largest banks to prepare for possible martial law declaration. Also reportedly asked banks to keep enough cash in ATMs to satisfy the possible increase in demand.
BREAKING: Ukraine's President Poroshenko has signed martial law declaration proposed by his National Security and Defense Council. Decree has been published on the president's official site.
Martial law decree signed by @poroshenko is in effect now until January 25. It instructs MOD to call up first-phase reservists & General Staff to immediately organize air defense. Also calls to strengthen anti-terrorism measures & information security.…
More from Ukraine martial law decree:
-Border guards are to strengthen border security along border with Russia, Crimea
-SBU to strengthen counterintel, counterterror, info security, ensure cybersecurity
-Interior Ministry to strengthen security around critical infrastructure
Correction: I didn't mean to say martial law is in effect yet. Decree is confusing. But it must be approved by parliament at 4pm session.
Hmm. Ukraine's MFA & Ministry of Info are "to immediately organize an information campaign to bring objective info about the next act of armed aggression against the Ukraine to the leadership of foreign states, influential international political, economic, and public circles."
Parliament approval of martial law seems imminent. But we should know for sure soon.
Amazing. @radiosvoboda reporter says there may not be enough support to pass martial law bill because there aren't enough MPs currently in parliament. Many having trouble getting there because of snowy weather. (If only the roads were better cleared, eh?)
After told reporters wouldn't be allowed into parliament for today's session to consider martial law, reporters have been allowed in but not allowed to question MPs unless approached. Oppo Bloc, opposition considered pro-Russian, says it's voting against.
Don't expect Ukraine's martial law vote to happen immediately. We're already 30 minutes after debate was set to begin and still hasn't started. Speaker Parubiy has offered Poroshenko and Turchynov chance to first speak, then 30 min break for MPs to consult. Voting only afterward.
3 former Ukrainian presidents - Yushchenko, Kuchma and Kravchuk - warn against martial law decree as is. They say if MPs want to approve it, then they should ensure it's amended to make clear elections can't be canceled, basic rights & freedoms preserved.…
Ukrainian MP @Leshchenkos says just 272 lawmakers are present in parliament. 226 votes are needed to approve the martial law decree. He says some of @poroshenko's own MPs don't support the decree as is and want more specifics included before consideration.
Interesting. @radiosvoboda reporter in parliament reports People's Front party, part of coalition in parliament with Poroshenko's party, says it's not ready to vote for martial law decree as is. It'll vote for 30 days (not 60) with option to extend.
President Poroshenko has just addressed the nation on Ukrainian TV. He claims his intelligence services have provided him information that Russia is preparing a ground attack against Ukraine. He says martial law necessary to ensure security.
Poroshenko also said - and reiterated on twitter - that as president & supreme commander of Ukraine, he's introduced martial law throughout the country, effective Nov 28. So it appears he's done it & is looking for approval from parliament after the fact.
One concession Poroshenko said he made is reducing the amount of time under martial law from 60 days to 30 days.
Poroshenko. Last night in meet of military leaders he was all for 60 days of martial law. Today after public outcry, he says he really only wanted 30; NSDC demanded 60. Adds: "No reason for dirty speculations" to those who claim he wants to postpone elex.
More: President Poroshenko said that he will submit to parliament a draft bill ensuring the date of presidential elections on March 31.…
And Poroshenko, a great fan of using props in televised speeches, waves a bunch of papers around which he claims hold proof of Russia planning a large-scale ground attack against Ukraine.
Wanna know what the hell is going on in Ukraine right now? Here's my (hopefully) helpful, lengthy explainer.…
Poroshenko's speech to Ukrainians now in English and in full:
After a lengthy break for negotiations, Ukraine's parliament is back in extraordinary session. National Security and Defense Council Secretary Turchynov is addressing the hall now. Meanwhile, MPs continue to haggle with each other over martial law details and vote.
Nikki Haley's comments at emergency UNSC meeting on Ukraine: She calls Russia's attack on Ukrainian vessels, "outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory" and "another reckless Russian escalation."
As debates continue in Ukraine's parliament, Chief of @GeneralStaffUA Viktor Muzhenko says 3 - not 6 - Ukrainian servicemen were injured in yesterday's clash with Russian ships. He adds that they are hospitalized in Kerch, Crimea. No information about the 20 others detained.
Poroshenko has arrived at parliament and is now addressing MPs about martial law decree. No vote called yet.
BREAKING: Ukraine's parliament has passed amended martial law decree put forward by President Poroshenko with 276 votes after hours of fiery debate. It will come into force on November 28 and last 30 days.
In the end, Poroshenko got his martial law, but for half the time he wanted & covering half the country. It will not cover Ukraine entirely, but regions subject to "Russian aggression," including Vinnytsia, Luhansk, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Kherson, Sea of Azov
Another important thing: Presidential elections remain on schedule for march 31.
Helpful map showing which regions (in red) of Ukraine will come under martial law on Wednesday morning.
US Secretary of State Pompeo & Ukraine's Poroshenko spoke by phone, says @TheBankova. Ukrainian readout says they "coordinated steps to further counteract Russian aggression against Ukraine, including in the Kerch Strait." Poro also spoke abt martial law.…
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