Denis Pushilin, the Russian-backed leader of the Donetsk region, which is widely recognized as Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia, issued a decree on Sunday implementing public activity restrictions. In the decree, Pushilin said the measures are necessary to “[s]trengthen the protection of public order and ensure public safety.”
The five-page decree instated numerous restrictions on the residents of Donetsk. Most notable amongst the restrictions was a curfew that bars all persons from being in public spaces from 11pm – 4am, with special exceptions for military, emergency and repair personnel, and a ban on all public rallies, demonstrations, meetings and strikes without the special permission of a regional security agency.
Further restrictions allow the military to censor postal mail, telephone conversations and electronic communications. Security personnel are also permitted to conduct extensive searches of a person’s identification and travel documents with detainment lasting up to 48 hours.
The increased measures were authorized under Presidential Executive Order No. 756 of October 19, 2022. The order, signed by Putin, in 2022 instituted martial law in Russian-annexed regions of Ukraine, including Donetsk. The order allowed for a “maximum response level” under Russian Federal Constitutional Law No.1-FCZ. Article 7 of the law governs how martial law is instituted. In addition to the current restrictions, the provisions allow for responses such as seizure of property, suspension of political parties and travel bans.
Russia formally annexed the People’s Republic of Donetsk in 2022 after a “sham” vote. Ukraine claims the region as part of their territory.