Expert: Martial law will not force the government to work in a military fashion

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2014/08/29 • Military analysis

Dmytro Shurkhalo

Kyiv – After Russian regular troops invaded Donbas, arguments regarding the feasibility of declaring martial law started up in Ukraine once more. In particular, former Prime Minister, leader of Batkivshchina party Yulia Tymoshenko demanded the President make such a step. In contrast, the President’s Administration claims such a step would not be expedient, and experts doubt that it would be able to reinforce the country’s defense capabilities. 

The implementation of martial law in Donetsk and Luhansk lasts will reinforce our defense system and the coordination of action significantly. This was stated by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is asking the President to make such a step. In addition, to her mind it is impervious to “immediately organize the position of the Head Commander of the army and for the President to take all triggers of defense government in Ukraine into his own hands.” Former Deputy NSDC Secretary Viktoria Siumar and advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Herashchenko also claim that such a step is necessary.

The Administration of the President, however, states that the introduction of martial law will limit the ability to receive military and technical support from other countries. Therefore the implementation of martial law in Ukraine would only benefit Russia, says first deputy head of the President’s Administration Hennadiy Zubko.

When commenting on the situation, political expert Volodymyr Fesenko notes that as of this moment the supporters of martial law have not provided convincing arguments in favor of this step. According to him, “the problems of war in Donbas are tied to bad commandment and lack of sufficient resources.” The expert also emphasizes the importance of early parliamentary elections, meanwhile the declaration of martial law would render them impossible.

“More than half of this Parliament consists of representatives of the old government. Their obedience is temporary. I assure you: as soon as the situation changes, over 200 Members will support Putin in Kyiv and greet him with flowers,” thinks Volodymyr Fesenko.

Razumkov Center military expert Olexiy Melnyk emphasizes the fact that a real war with an external enemy is underway in Donbas. According to him, the arguments that martial law would not be beneficial are unconvincing. He also doubts that the declaration of martial law would increase the mobilization capabilities of the state apparatus.

“As opposed to the public, which is mostly mobilized and paying for this war with whatever they can: their health, their lives, their money, their time, the state apparatus has its own priorities: future elections, rating, making money. This is the main problem and it is unlikely to be solved by any formal solution, even that which would be approved by the Verkhovna Rada,” thinks the expert.

According to the law, the President declares martial law on the NSDC’s initiative, and the Verkhovna Rada has to approve it within the next two days.


 

Source: Radio Liberty

Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina

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  • Bob

    The article is not entirely convincing. It doesn’t really explain what powers would be given to the President and the military in the event of martial law. What about the ability to direct both state and civilian resources into the war effort. (here the feeling one has got is that the Govt has always thought this will be all over in a month anyway!!! … no need for planning for war for 6 to 12 months). Further the author doesn’t even raise the issue of the psychological impact of the declaration in mobilizing the country (the people need recognition of their situation), and the international sphere (well if its not a emergency situation for Ukr then why for the west). And what about martial law in the two affected Oblasts. Is this not an option? All issues that need assessing.