Putin’s Imposition Of Martial Law In Annexed Regions Could Be Preparation For Mass Deportations Of Ukrainians – OpEd


Vladimir Putin has ordered the introduction of martial law in the Ukrainian regions Moscow seeks to annex in the Donbass as of tomorrow, arguing that such a step is necessary because of the danger that what he claims is Russian territory is at risk of being attacked (kremlin.ru/events/president/news/69631).

But Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, says that what Putin is doing  represents “preparation for the mass deportation of the Ukrainian population into depressed regions of Russia in order to change the ethnic composition of the occupied territories (twitter.com/OleksiyDanilov/status/1582728608652500992).

Russia has already committed this crime against humanity in occupied Crimea, the Ukrainian official says. It should and must be condemned by the international community; but tragically, so far it remains unpunished – and so it appears that Putin is set to do it again on an even larger scale.

Putin also used today’s meeting of the Russian Security Council to impose tighter controls over much of European Russia, to form a coordinating council to guide military operations in Ukraine, and to raise the pay of Russians mobilized to a minimum of 195,000 rubles (2500 US dollars) a month (https://twitter.com/OleksiyDanilov/status/1582728608652500992).

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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