Martial law in Ukraine: shaky need or good public relations before the elections?

  • Martial law in Ukraine shaky need or good public relations before the elections

Kyiv: November 25, 2018, Russian naval forces along with the Coast Guard rammed a Ukrainian tug on the territory of the Kerch Strait. After some time, outside the 12-mile zone, the Ukrainian vessels Nikopol, Berdyansk, and Yana Kapu were fired upon and captured. 24 sailors were taken prisoners, 6 of which were wounded.

The night from 25 to 26 November last year was perhaps the most difficult for all Ukrainians in the last period. Citizens stuck to the screens of their televisions, to the news feeds on the Internet, following the events of the fateful Russian invasion. Is it possible to call it differently? Russia actually spat on the possibility of the Ukrainian courts to cruise in their ethnic waters, timidly firing on ships that had no opportunity to defend themselves.

Fuel to the fire topped up the news that the Ukrainian sailors were injured. Whether because of the fatal panic or because of the possibility of a decent hype, the Ukrainian media, one after another, covered information that was different in everything: from the severity of the wounded to the number of those who were injured. A panic broke out at incredible speed when exact information was not available.

To be or not to be

On the same evening, an emergency meeting of the National Security and Defense Council was convened, which, at the initiative of President Petro Poroshenko, announced the future imposition of martial law in Ukraine. Next to that, the head of state clearly showed his caution in this matter, by giving the order to protect all diplomatic institutions in the capital, the Russian also.

The next day, the whole world was waiting for the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament, meeting in order to know the answer to the main question: to be or not to be martial law in Ukraine. And in the meantime, a chaos of thoughts and panic among those who somehow had to do with imaginary mobilization. Tens of thousands of "sofa experts" announced the collapse of the state, stretching pieces of the law, which had not been used for the period of independence. The consequence is kilometer-long queues at the Ukrainian borders from people who accidentally or not decided to search for a better life just when the country needed them. Although no one reported exactly this.

Finally, on the evening of November 26, after eloquence at the rostrum of Parliament and complete indifference outside the spotlights of television cameras, Ukrainian officials signed the law. Martial law in Ukraine should be, though only conditional, as experts will say later, and only in 10 areas.

We were chit-chatting than we sat down and began crying

On December 26, martial law in Ukraine ended, and experts immediately began to sum up what has changed, what it has affected and whether it was necessary at all. This topic was especially interesting for those who in one way or another have to do with elections, which, with the help of this provision, so vehemently wanted to either cancel or transfer.

Indeed, uncertainties and contradictions in this matter have accumulated enough. The officials themselves say that these measures were necessary, and they got the desired result. But in reality, the martial law reflected the expected consequences only for the Ukrainian parliamentarians, as they themselves say, because of ordinary citizens, no one felt these amazing changes on themselves.

The President was informed about the suspension of the martial law on December 26 at 14:00, and it became interesting to all what he could boast after 30 days of conditional restrictions. Nothing and this is bad. Therefore, behind the ash clouds that spray words about strengthening the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other defensive units, about assembly, new deliveries of weapons and redeployment of our military, one can see a big exclamation mark as a symbol of what we could not. And we could not bring our sailors back from the Matrosskaya Tishina and Lefortovo. We could not do what was the root cause of all the events of the last month. We could not main.

As a result, tens of thousands of messages on social networks, slogans "we are with you", and flash mobs, in order to support all those who are now in a cold Russian detention center need our help. And the loud presidential "Ukraine with you guys," which inspires at least some hope.

The fine art of keeping up appearances

The camp of the Ukrainian experts was divided into two. The first half of political technologists ardently tried to “squeeze” out of this martial law everything that was possible to convince the skeptical society of its importance. Others loudly and confidently accused them of being politically motivated and corrupt, reinforcing all the unshakable "soon elections".

And yet, some of the positive consequences of the martial law in Ukraine were described. And the first is the conduct of mobilization among reservists who belong to the first category. This is the point through which at the time of the peak of information noise on the Ukrainian borders almost the largest number of people gathered over the last period.

But if we analyze this factor, we can conclude that mobilization took place not only during martial law, and the strengthening of the work of other defense complexes was simply necessary throughout Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian aggression in the Donbass in 2014. Therefore, this factor certainly plays a positive role for the country but has little in common with recent restrictions. The same can be said about the verification of the state of civil defense.

Another point that the political "elite" pokes into the eyes of all Ukrainians is the test of the combat effectiveness of the air defense of Ukraine. And here a logical question arises: should this check take place 5 years after the start of an undeclared war, or a little earlier. But absolute silence on the part of state officials automatically sends this question to the “rhetorical” section, and we can only be satisfied with the old, good “better late than never”.

The only point that has become a real consequence of the introduction of martial law is the impossibility of Russian-men aged 16 to 60 years to cross the Russian-Ukrainian border. And here society itself created contradictions: on the one hand, “everything is correct”, “it should have been done long time ago”, “that’s right for them”, and on the other, no trips to Moscow, because. But, in fact, this ban is canceled upon the termination of martial law, therefore, to assert that we “prevented the Kremlin’s sabotage plans” brings laughter, and nothing more. We just adjusted them in time.

To be continued

Ukrainian military expert Oleh Starykov noted that Ukraine after the events of November 25 lost sovereignty in the Kerch Strait and in the Sea of Azov, and it is simply impossible to restore it without the support of international politics.

“November 25 showed that the Russian Federation will do everything possible to defend this territory by any means, so she indicated that this is her territory, that she will respond with any force that is not coordinated with her in this region. Therefore, this conflict will continue further, and Ukraine without a military presence in both the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov will not restore its territory or sovereignty,” Starykov said.

In addition, the expert noted that the situation with the Ukrainian naval sailors would not have an optimistic end either until a court hearing was held where they would be sentenced.

“They will all be convicted, despite the violation of all possible international treaties, because these soldiers, I emphasize this, are seamen who are combatants. And provided that the state confirmed that these are Ukrainian servicemen, then the opposite side should give them only after some time. Russia does not do this, violating absolutely everything, so they will be convicted under the laws of Russia, and then the transfer procedure will go more or less normally,” Starykov added.

Now we can confidently say that Ukraine and its citizens are in a “hanging” state - a kind of “political purgatory” between the eloquent promises of Europe and the real Kremlin aggression. Petro Poroshenko increasingly reports the threat from the "brother", and does it so often that even children in the garden seem to know that "Russia is the aggressor".

Yes, and the rebel Federation itself does not allow to forget about it, accumulating its military potential at the borders of its neighbors, from Belorussia to Donbas, at incredible speed. Therefore, one can expect so desired reconciliation between Ukraine and Russia, or vice versa - thoughts about this can be put in the back box - questions that have long become rhetorical. Now relations between states are at the top of their aggravation, and no one knows for sure when the degree of tension in them will fall at least one division.

Khmilevska Victoriya, Front News International

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