Russian President Vladimir Putin signed on Wednesday a decree on the introduction of martial law in the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions, recently annexed from Ukraine.
Speaking at a meeting of the Russian Security Council in Moscow, Putin said residents of these territories "clearly expressed their will when voted in favor of joining Russia."
Putin said Kyiv refuses to accept the results of the referendums in Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia and carries out acts of sabotage on Russia's territory, noting that he considers it necessary to declare martial law on these territories.
"I have signed a decree on the introduction of martial law in these four subjects of the Russian Federation. It will be immediately sent to the Federation Council for approval. The State Duma has also been informed about the decision," he said.
According to the decree, published on the Kremlin website, the defense, interior, and emergency ministries, as well as several other bodies have to submit proposals on measures applied in the territories where martial law has been imposed.
In a separate decree, Putin ordered to declare a "regime of maximum readiness" in these four regions, and a "regime of average readiness" in areas neighboring Ukraine.
He also instructed to create offices of territorial defense in these areas, and to strengthen security measures at all objects, ensuring the vital activity of the population, functioning of transport, communications, and energy facilities, as well as objects that pose an increased danger to human life, health, and the environment.
Putin also commanded to evacuate people from dangerous territories and to introduce a special regime for entry into and exit from such territories, suggesting among other things restrictions on movements and search of coming and leaving vehicles.