Published On: Sun, Sep 24th, 2023
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Curfew imposed by Russian-installed head of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region

The Russian-installed head of the annexed eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk has imposed a nightly curfew on weekdays, according to a new decree published Sunday. 

Denis Pushilin prohibited residents from being outside between the hours of 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., unless they are specifically permitted to do so, the decree states.

Rallies and demonstrations as well as other mass events in Russia-controlled parts of the Donetsk region have also been forbidden unless permitted by Operational Headquarters for Military Threat Response in Donetsk People’s Republic, it says.

Public officials, conscripts, and members of some organizations will “have to formally declare leaving the territory” no later than a month before their departure, it says. “They will also have to declare their destination and length of stay.”

It adds that the running of public, private and official transport is to be limited during the curfew unless given special permission. However, this does not apply to government agency employees, some services and security agencies, Russia’s security service (the FSB) or to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it says.

Checkpoints and security posts will also be installed at the borders of Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia, two neighboring regions in the southeast of Ukraine, it adds. 

“Military censorship of postal mail and messages transmitted via telecommunications systems as well as control of telephone conversations,” will also be introduced,” it says.

Signed by Pushilin on Sept. 18, the decree’s opening paragraph says the new regulations are designed to establish a “state of war,” and the measures will “combat sabotage and reconnaissance formations.” 

Ukrainian forces have been battling Moscow-backed separatists in Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk since Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014. The two areas areas together make up the Donbas region. After President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, Russian troops entered the area which was once Ukraine’s industrial heartland.

Along with the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, Putin illegally annexed Donestk and Luhansk last year.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has previously said that no peace negotiation can proceed until the country’s full territory is returned. 

Pushilin’s decree comes as Ukraine’s grinding counteroffensive continues in the south and east.

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