December 19, 2018

Intermediate Results of the Introduction of Martial Law

Martial law for 30 days in the territory of 10 regions of Ukraine was introduced in response to Russia's capture of the Ukrainian “Berdyansk” and “Nikopol” small artillery boats and the “Yany Kapu” tugboat (captured by a Russian Special Forces on the 25th November, 2018). The time that has passed, allows to assess the realities of martial law and its positive and negative consequences.

40.5 % of citizens do not support the introduction of martial law in 10 regions of Ukraine, another 24.5 % rather do not support it. Only 24.9 % clearly support the introduction of martial law, another 13.9 % are more likely to support it than not to. This is evidenced by the survey conducted by the Ukrainian Institute of Social Research named after Oleksandr Yaremenko and the Social Monitoring Center from December 1 to December 10, 2018.

The thesis that the martial law introduced for the postponement of the elections is not very convincing, since the main positive achievements of the introduction of martial law are not directly related to the transfer of elections, the more so only the presidential political force is interested in a longer election period that depletes other competitors. In the beginning of December 2018, 56.6 % of citizens believed that President Poroshenko wanted to postpone the next presidential election in this way. Only 22.2 % believe that he worried about the security of the country, so we may say that these 22 % are the main political resource of the presidential team in the country, because this is more than the rating of the President and his political force.


  • A stabilized internal political situation for the Council (Sobor) of Unification, which objectively lowered the “degree of confrontation” and created a positive background for the successful work of Ukrainian special services.
  • The forward-thinking attitude to the potential growth of the military aggression.
  • The international support of Ukraine, which, of course, is a great achievement and victory.
  • Increasing activity of patriotic citizens, and actualization of the issue of war in the society, which creates a good background for reform or active actions.


  • Failed communication with the public and poor information work on the peculiarities, goals and objectives of the martial law, is the complete failure of the presidential team and mischievous implementation on the ground.
  • A situational unification of the president’s opponents and the strengthening of his critique has added difficulty in managing and disoriented the public.
  • The possibilities of significant strengthening of defense capability and the promotion of security and defense have not been fully used, which has caused disappointment among active citizens with a certain “fakeness” of processes, because everything happens without decisive tangible practical actions in the following spheres:
    • The territorial defense system actually still does not exist. Territorial defense brigades formed in regions began active preparations and trainings, which is definitely good. But these brigades are rather reserve ones (which is also good and needed) and have nothing to do with territorial defense except for the name. They have no normal interaction with local authorities, but this could potentially be resolved under martial law and a unified management and defense system could be created in case of Russia's aggression. With integrated, thoughtful involvement of local authorities, security forces and the public. At the moment, such a system is only being declared.
    • Civil defense since 2002 has not existed in Ukraine as a concept, and the situation in this sphere is even worse than in territorial defense. Responsibility rests with communities and no systematic measures are taken centrally. The martial law has not improved this.
    • Medical care in fact is not getting prepared for the potential rapid growth of the number of the sick and wounded and worsening of the epidemiological situation.
    • The system of material and technical support is not reformed for work in the war time, the State Reserve is not formed, local authorities are forming reserves with “difficulties” even on paper, talks about a military economy have not even begun yet.
  • Warnings in the sphere of tourism and investment into Ukraine or the population's general concern is nothing as compared with the mentioned above.

Final conclusions can be drawn after the completion of martial law, probably on the 26th December, 2018.