Duma OK's Bill On Martial Law

Today the State Duma passed the president-proposed bill 'On Martial Law' on the second and third readings. This bill sets an order and determines preconditions for introducing martial law in the Russian Federation in the event of a foreign military aggression or an aggressive threat. It also defines the powers of state authorities and the degree of involvement of the Army in maintaining a martial law regime. In accordance with this document, an act of aggression against the Russian Federation is an incursion of armed forces of a foreign country or a group of foreign countries into Russian territories, any form of military occupation, besiegement of ports or the coastline, sending of saboteurs, etc. Martial law can be introduced throughout the Russian Federation or in its separate regions with a presidential decree, which is subject to approval by the Federation Council within the 48 hours after signing by the President. Rights and liberties of citizens, activities of organizations and powers of state officials can be restricted to the extent required to ensure the country's defense capabilities. Particularly, martial law envisages the possibility of introducing censorship, a ban or limitation of transport traffic, a ban on public meetings, demonstrations and strikes as well as the closure of borders. In the event of imposing martial law, the Russian President shall take measures to notify the UN Secretary General and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of this step.

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