The Ukrainian State Border Service has tightened border control and restricted arrivals of foreign citizens, first and foremost male Russian citizens aged from 16 to 60. The restriction is aimed at preventing Russia from forming the so-called private armies in Ukraine.
“The service is switched to the first level of full combat readiness. The border is protected by the robust security regime,” Petro Tsygykal, head of the State Border Service of Ukraine, said at Friday’s meeting on the measures to implement the decree and the law on the establishment of martial law.
“At checkpoints, reinforced control measures are being implemented. Today, the entry of foreigners, especially citizens of the Russian Federation, is limited,” he said.
At the same time, the top official stressed that no restrictions on the border would be imposed on the citizens of Ukraine.
“Do I understand correctly that these are measures that prevent the Russian Federation from forming units of private armies here, that are in fact members of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, and do not allow them to carry out operations, that they were trying to conduct in 2014?” Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko asked and received an affirmative answer.
At the same time, Ukrainian border guards will grant entry to Russian citizens who are going to attend a funeral or have ‘any other humanitarian purpose’.
On November 25, three Ukrainian ships were captured by the Russian special forces in the Kerch Strait. According to Ukrainian media, Russia took prisoner 24 people, 6 sailors were injured. In response, 30-day martial law has been introduced in 10 regions of Ukraine — those bordering Russia, Transnistria and the Black Sea coast, as well as in Chernihiv region bordering Belarus. In turn, Putin called the incident ‘provocation staged by Poroshenko ahead of the presidential election in Ukraine’.