Ukrainian parliament extends martial law
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Ukrainian parliament extends martial law

The Ukrainian parliament has extended the period of martial law and general mobilization for another 90 days, until August 23, as a sign that officials in Kyiv expect many more months of fighting.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy first imposed drastic measures on Ukrainian territory on February 24, just hours after the Russian invasion from the north, south, and east.

Ukrainian parliament extends martial law

Martial law gives the military extensive powers and limits civil liberties, such as the right to demonstrate.

Resilient men aged 18 to 60 were not allowed to leave the country and were urged to join the fight against the Russians.

On Sunday, several MPs confirmed via Telegram that Zelenskiy’s recently proposed extension until August 23 had been approved.

Ukraine traditionally celebrates its Independence Day a day later.

Last week, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych justified the three-month extension of martial law by saying there were no signs the war would be over by the fall.

He added that the Ukrainian people would be given false hopes if martial law were extended for just 30 days, as has been the case in the past.

Also on Sunday, Polish President Andrzej Duda was the first foreign head of state to address Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, in person since the Russian offensive began.

Duda said no one can shake Polish-Ukrainian unity in his speech, emphasizing: “The free world has the face of Ukraine.”

Again and again, the MPs stood up to applaud.

Zelenskiy was also present.

Duda’s surprise visit was not announced until Sunday morning.

The 50-year-old traveled to Ukraine for the second time since the outbreak of war in late February.

Duda is campaigning, among other things, to give the neighboring country the status of candidate country for EU membership as soon as possible.

“Poland will do everything it can to help Ukraine join the European Union,” Duda said.

Since February 24, nearly 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees have entered Poland.

Poland has hosted most of the roughly 6.5 million people who have fled Ukraine.

Before the war started, about 44 million people lived in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, there was heavy fighting in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine, especially around Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.

Positions of Ukrainian troops in the area along the entire front line are being shelled with Russian artillery, the general staff in Kyiv said on Sunday.

Russian troops tried unsuccessfully to storm villages north, east, and south of Sievierodonetsk.

They said they are fighting just as hard for villages south of the route from Lysychansk to Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.

The Russian army has been trying for days to cut off supplies from the Donetsk region to the Ukrainian groups around Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.