On the 26th of November 2018 the President of Ukraine supported the proposal of the Military Cabinet to enact the martial law in Ukraine after the attack of the Russian Navy on the Ukrainian Navy vessels. On the same date, the Ukrainian Parliament upheld the President’s Decree on Enacting the Martial Law (the “Decree”) by adopting the relevant law (the “Martial Law”).
What: the Martial Law does not automatically mean state of war. It is the regime that is possible pursuant to the existing law in Ukraine in such circumstances to prevent the actual war.
For how long: 30 days. The Martial Law is enacted from the 26th of November 2018 and remains effective until 26 December 2018, unless it is lifted earlier by the President.
Where: the Martial Law is established in 10 regions of Ukraine, bordering with the Russian Federation and Moldova – Vinnytsia, Odesa, Kherson, Mykolayiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Sumy, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhya, Chernihiv regions as well as internal waters of Azovo-Kerchenska aquatorium. Kyiv and Kyiv region are not within the territory of the Martial Law.
State government: Within the period of the Martial Law the President is entitled to form the special bodies of executive power, military administrations, on the regional (oblast) and district level, as well as in towns/cities where municipal authorities ceased to operate due to military aggression (as the case may be). The military administrations, in their turn, are authorised to restrict the rights of individuals and legal persons in the controlled area but only on case by case basis and only in the scope specified by the Decree.
Limitation of individuals’ rights and freedoms: by virtue of law the following rights of individuals might be restricted: inviolability of a dwelling, privacy of correspondence, privacy of private life, freedom of movement, freedom of thought and speech, freedom of election, right to assemble, right to private property, entrepreneurial activity and right to work, right to strike, right to education, dismiss the management of private and state entities for violations of the Martial Law regime. However, the Decree does not introduce any specific limitations so far. In particular, there are no limitations of freedom of movement for Ukrainians and foreigners staying in Ukraine.
Effect on business and day-to-day operations: the Decree does not introduce any limitations for the Ukrainian business so far. It does not establish any sanctions against certain businesses either. The media are working in the ordinary course. However, by virtue of law in certain extraordinary circumstances military administrations may use production facilities of private enterprises for defence purposes, alienate private and municipal property for the state needs (under the specific procedure, subject to compensation).
In other words, currently it is not expected that the Martial Law will hinder the day-to-day life and business activity in Ukraine unless the conflict is aggravated. Should you require any specific clarification regarding the particular application of the Martial Law please do not hesitate to contact us.