LUHANSK, May 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Martial law has been intriduced in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), the republic's press service told ITAR-TASS.
Mobilization of men aged from 18 to 45 has been declared in connection with the introduction of the martial law in the region.
The latest reports, which have not been confirmed yet, said that armed clashes between representatives of people's self-defense forces and Ukrainian law enforcers continued in the north of the self-proclaimed republic, the press center said.
A source in the regional Interior Ministry said earlier in an interview with Itar-Tass that armed clashes were reported near the region’s cities of Rubezhnoye and Lisichansk. He also said that a bridge over the Seversky Donets River had been blown up.
“The battles are underway,” he said adding that there were wounded among the regional law enforcers but did not specify the number.
A source in the LPR military headquarters said late on Wednesday night that the pro-Kiev forces were set for the large-scale offensive on the region as a significant convoy of military hardware and troops was on its way to the city of Luhansk.
“The convoy consists of some 2,000 troops and 200 military hardware units, which include ‘Grad’ multiple launch rocket systems, APCs, infantry combat vehicles, tanks, as well as Ural and GAZ trucks,” the source said.
Luhansk asks Kiev to stop punitive operation
The government of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic is ready to sit down to the negotiating table with Kiev if the Ukrainian authorities terminate a punitive operation in Ukraine’s southeast, Valery Bolotov, the people’s governor of the eastern Ukrainian Luhansk Region, said.
“We demand that all armed formations be immediately withdrawn from the territory of the LPR,” Bolotov said in a statement on Wednesday. “We are ready for talks but only after Ukraine stops an aggression against our state.”
He called the special operation conducted by Kiev-controlled army units and armed formations in Ukraine's southeast occupation and “terror against the local population”.
Earlier Wednesday, Bolotov asked the LPR public to take an active part in forming supreme state power bodies in the republic - the Supreme Council and government, as well as in organizing people’s self-government bodies.
Luhansk asks UN to recognize its independence
On May 19, the Republican Council of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic asked the UN to recognize its independence.
"Republican Assembly of People's Republic of Luhansk appeal to you to recognize the sovereignty and independence of our country," statement to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says.
"People's Republic of Luhansk intends to build its relations with other states on the basis of equality, peace, good neighborliness and other universally recognized principles of political, economic and cultural cooperation," the authors of the appeal note, stressing that "in accordance with generally accepted international human rights of the people's right to self-determination should be the basis of political decisions and every state has the duty to respect this right".
It also stated that "the inhabitants of the former Luhansk region have tried to preserve the unity and peace in the country " and "staged regularly rallies where voicing their demands.” “But the government did not hear us," the authors emphasized.