On November 30th, the head of the Ukrainian border service Petro Tsygykal announced that Ukraine bans entry for all Russian men aged 16-60.
“Today, the entry of foreigners is limited – primarily citizens of the Russian Federation – non-admission of citizens of the Russian Federation aged from 16 to 60, male,” Tsygykal said. Who these other foreigners are was unspecified, more than likely because there aren’t any others.
The Ukrainian move is a clear and obvious discrimination, which appears to be completely disregarded by Ukraine’s partners in the face of the US, EU and the UN, who are generally quite vocal regarding human rights violations. Thus, a government that is discriminating individuals based on their origin is being supported by the Washington-led establishment because it forwards the narrative of “Russian aggression.”
An interesting fact, that mainstream media outlets, in particular Ukrainain ones, see no discrimination in this move.
Ukraine imposed martial law on November 28th, due to fears that Russia was allegedly planning “a full-scale invasion” of the country, after an altercation between Ukrainian and Russian military ships in Russia’s territorial waters.
Critics and many Russian officials have claimed that the incident was a provocation by Ukraine aimed at allowing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to remain in power. Regardless, on November 28th a resolution was signed by parliament speaker Andriy Parubiy setting the date for the Ukrainian presidential elections as March 31st, 2019.
Poroshenko also vowed that the martial law in 10 regions for a period of 30 days was not meant to postpone the vote. Martial law was introduced in regions that have coastlines or border Russia or Moldova’s “Moscow-backed breakaway Transdniester region.” The 10 regions are: will operate in Vinnytsia, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Odessa, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, as well as in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya, Kherson regions and the inland waters of the Azov-Kerch water area of Ukraine.
As of November 30th, the Kiev government claims that the presidential elections will run according to plan. However, local elections in the 10 regions under martial law were alredy postponed.
“The Central Election Commission decides to draw the attention of subjects and other participants in the election process of local elections to be held in the Vinnytsia, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Chernihiv regions, in which a state of martial war was declared, to strict compliance with Part 1 of Article 19 of the Law of Ukraine ‘On the Legal Status of Martial Law’ regarding the prohibition of elections,” CEC Deputy Chairman Oleh Konopolsky said, announcing the provisions of the resolution.
According to the resolution, the issue of scheduling local elections in these ten regions will be resolved in line with a legally determined procedure after martial law is stopped or canceled.
CEC Head Tetiana Slipachuk specified that the ban applies to 45 first and 7 additional elections in newly formed merged territorial communities scheduled for December 23, as well as 9 interim local elections that had to take place on December 9 and 16.
“Elections to the united territorial communities scheduled for December 23 in regions where the legal martial law will be applied cannot take place. Article 19 of the Law of Ukraine ‘On the legal regime of martial law’ expressly prohibits elections, referendums, strikes, rallies, and amendments to the Constitution. This is the wartime logic that this regime cannot apply specific democratic mechanisms. Accordingly, the question is how the electoral process will be resumed, re-announced in these communities when a 30-day period of martial law ends. The Central Election Commission must give a clear and unambiguous answer to this,” Coordinator of the Opora civil network Olha Aivazovska said.
Quite conveniently, the martial law in the 10 regions end on December 26th, 3 days after the significant local elections were supposed to take place.
Thus, it appears that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko partially managed to win himself some time to turn the tables on Presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko, who is the favorite in the upcoming presidential elections.
Ukraine is also to hold parliamentary elections on October 27th, 2019.