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Russian lawmaker: Poroshenko needs martial law to quash opposition before elections

November 26, 2018, 16:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Nikolai Kovalyov said it would give the president "real leverage to influence the outcome of the forthcoming elections"

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MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko needs the introduction of martial law in order to quash the opposition and mass media ahead of elections due next year, a member of the State Duma’s security and anti-corruption committee, former director of the federal security service FSB Nikolai Kovalyov told TASS.

"The introduction of martial law, apart from the aims Poroshenko has declared, implies, of course, a ban on political parties and their activity and control of the radio and television," Kovalyov said. "This will give him real leverage to influence the outcome of the forthcoming elections."

Earlier, Russia’s State Duma Deputy Speaker Irina Yarovaya said martial law, should it be introduced in Ukraine, would be the most comfortable way of running the country for the current authorities in Kiev they had long pressed for.

On November 25, three Ukrainian naval ships ignored the rules of navigation through Russia’s territorial waters and the Kerch Strait to have violated Russia’s state border. Weapons were used for stopping them. Three Ukrainian military servicemen were slightly injured and given medical assistance. The ships were detained and taken to Kerch. A criminal case over the violation of Russia’s state border was opened.

Ukraine’s National Security Council came out with a proposal for declaring martial law for 60 days over the situation in the Kerch Strait. The Ukrainian parliament is to consider this issue at an urgent meeting on Monday. The details of the initiative are not disclosed. National Security and Defense Council chief Alexander Turchinov said martial law might be canceled any moment on the condition "the situation returns to normal.".

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