Russia Imposes New Rules and Bans in Occupied Ukraine

( – Denis Pushilin, leader of the self-styled ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’, has issued a number of new rules in a decree published on Sunday, September 24. These rules include a curfew that forbids people leaving their homes between 11pm and 4am during the week; a ban on any worker going on strike; and a ban on public gatherings that have not received prior approval from the military authorities. Public gatherings are to be given approval only if they aid military strategy in the conflict-ridden territory. The decree also imposes military censorship on communications including phone calls, the Internet, and even mail.

The increased control and surveillance of citizens comes as Russian and Ukrainian forces clash violently along the Donetsk borders, each attempting to claim the area for their own nation. Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, was illegally annexed by Russia in 2022, and was one of several areas to hold local elections between September 8 and 10. These elections were overseen by Russia and have been widely denounced by the international community, with the European Union decrying them as a sham, and the United States’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirming that Washington DC would never recognize the election results as valid.

Denis Pushilin’s leadership of the Donetsk oblast has the full support of the Russian Kremlin, which is keen to keep military control of the area, but also to try to legitimize Pushilin’s separatist regime. Ukrainian military efforts have ramped up in the region of late, with the Russian Ministry of Defense releasing a statement that Russian forces have repelled five Ukrainian attacks in the western part of Donetsk, near the Zaporizhzhia oblast.

The latest decree by Pushilin attempts to tighten up security in the affected areas, with security checkpoints being installed around Zaporizhzhia and Luhansk. Ukrainian forces have also mounted a campaign against Russian soldiers around Donetsk’s Bakhmut city, attempting to keep them separate from the rest of the Russian troops in an effort to prevent them from uniting and launching more powerful attacks.

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