On Wednesday, the Federation Council (the Russian parliament's upper chamber) approved the federal constitutional law "On Martial Law" submitted by the president. The law regulates the procedure and sets forth the grounds for imposing and lifting martial law and for using the Armed Forces of Russia, other troops, military units and bodies for ensuring it. It also determines the powers of the bodies of state authority and local self-government in ensuring martial law and also the legal status of citizens and organisations under martial law. The president may impose martial law on the territory of the Russian Federation or in its separate areas in case of an aggression against Russia, or a direct threat of aggression. Apart from invasion, attack by the armed forces of a foreign state, the bombing of territories, or the blockade of ports, the law qualifies as "acts of aggression" the sending by a foreign state (a group of states), or on behalf of a foreign state (a group of states), of armed gangs, groups, non-regular troops or mercenaries carrying out acts connected with the use of armed force against the Russian Federation.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated