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Putin declared a state of emergency in the annexed regions of Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in four regions of Ukraine annexed by Moscow and granted additional emergency powers to the leaders of all Russian regions.

Putin did not immediately specify the steps that would be taken under the state of emergency, but said his order would take effect on Thursday. His decree gives law enforcement agencies three days to submit concrete proposals and orders for the creation of territorial defense forces in the four annexed regions.

“We are working to solve very difficult large-scale tasks to ensure the security and secure future of Russia, to protect our people,” Putin said in televised remarks at the start of the Security Council session. “Those who are on the front lines or undergoing training at training grounds and training centers should feel our support and know that they have our great, great country and united people behind them.”

The upper house of the Russian parliament was supposed to quickly seal Putin’s decision to impose a state of emergency in the annexed regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Lugansk and Zaporozhye. The draft law indicates that it may include restrictions on travel and public gatherings, stricter censorship and broader powers for law enforcement agencies.

Putin also did not provide details on the additional powers that the heads of Russian regions will have under his decree.

In a signal that his moves could have wide-ranging restrictions on people living in Russia, his decree said the types of measures envisioned by the state of emergency could be introduced in Russia.

The Russian leader also ordered the establishment of a Coordination Committee to increase interaction between government agencies in dealing with the fighting in Ukraine, which he continued to call a “special military operation.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin’s order does not provide for the closure of Russia’s borders, state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.

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