UKRAINE imposed martial law for 30 days in parts of the country most vulnerable to an attack from Russia after President Petro Poroshenko warned of the “extremely serious” threat of a land invasion.
Poroshenko said martial law was necessary to bolster Ukraine’s defenses after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships and took their crew prisoner at the weekend.
US President Donald Trump said he did not like what was happening between Russia and Ukraine and was working with European leaders on the situation.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s seizure of the Ukrainian vessels “a dangerous escalation and a violation of international law” and called for restraint from both countries.
“The United States condemns this aggressive Russian action. We call on Russia to return to Ukraine its vessels and detained crew members, and to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Pompeo said in a statement.
The State Department said Pompeo spoke by phone with Poroshenko and reiterated strong U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian “aggression”.
The Ukrainian parliament approved the introduction of martial law after Poroshenko reassured some skeptical lawmakers that it would not be used to curb civil liberties or delay elections scheduled for next year.