On 26 November 2018, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the Law that approves the Decree of the President of Ukraine on the imposition of martial law (not to be confused with a ‘state of war’) in Ukraine. The new Law, effective 28 November 2018, imposes martial law until 2 p.m. on 26 December 2018 in the regions of Vinnytsia, Luhansk, Mykolayiv, Odessa, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson as well as the territorial waters of Ukraine in the Sea of Azov.
According to the Decree, within the territories under martial law, certain rights and freedoms of individuals as well as the rights and lawful interests of legal entities may be restricted to the extent required to implement martial law in accordance with the Law of Ukraine on the Legal Regime of Martial Law (No. 389-VIII, dated 12 May 2015).
Under this Law, the military command together with the bodies of the executive power and bodies of local self-governance may require privately owned businesses to comply with certain measures of the martial law legal regime, including:
- introducing tightened security and a special operations’ regime at facilities (including those that are privately owned) that satisfy the basic needs of population according to the list approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
- requiring employees of privately owned businesses to work for defence purposes or in the event of an emergency, or to do community service work to support Ukraine’s Armed Forces or law enforcement authorities;
- using the facilities and personnel of privately owned businesses for defence purposes and changing the regime of their operations;
- the compulsory acquisition of private property for state purposes;
- establishing special entry and exit rules and limits to the movements of transportation vehicles;
- searching transportation vehicles, baggage and cargo as well as offices and other premises;
- regulating the operations of telecommunication companies and prohibiting radio and computer network data transmissions;
- the seizure of chemical and toxic materials;
- the obligation to house troops; and
- dismissing the management of privately owned business entities for non-compliance with martial law requirements and appointing acting management of such entities.
The introduction of these martial law measures must be carried out on the basis of a standard martial law introduction plan approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.