President Vladimir Cheese fries ordered a dramatic tightening of security, including movement restrictions, in areas along the border with Ukraine as the attacks spread into Russian territory.
Citing strikes in recent weeks in border areas and a bombing on his showcase bridge to Crimea, Putin told a televised meeting of his Security Council that he was ordering tougher measures across much of the country. country. He also expanded existing martial law regimes in the four Ukrainian territories he annexed last month.
Russian forces have steadily lost ground over the past two months to a Ukrainian counteroffensive that has recaptured large areas of the areas Putin claimed to annex. On Wednesday, Russian occupation authorities in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson said they had moved to areas farther from the front lines as troops from Kyiv continued to advance and cut off their supply lines.
Putin’s new measures impose heightened security in six regions of Russia near the Ukrainian border, as well as in Crimea, which he annexed in 2014, underscoring the spread of his eight-month-old war. The new rules allow officials to impose limits on movement in and out of regions, temporarily move civilians away from combat zones, boost “economic mobilization” and military production, and donate increased powers to the army.
Areas farther from the front lines, including Moscow, may also see unspecified movement restrictions, according to the text of the presidential order.
‘Test Ride’
“Putin’s decree effectively places several Russian regions on the border with Ukraine within the perimeter of the war,” said Alexander Baunov of the Carnegie Center. “It looks like a trial of emergency mechanisms in several regions which can then be extended to other territories.”
Governors of the affected regions quickly downplayed any immediate impact. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that “at present no measures that would restrict the normal pace of life in the city are being imposed.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the government did not plan to close the country’s borders as a result of the order, according to the RIA Novosti news service.
Putin said Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin will take charge of a new coordination council to work on nationwide security issues. Regional governors will also get broader powers to manage security and family support for reservists called up for military service, he said.
Russian occupation authorities said they left Kherson for the eastern bank of the Dnipro River as Ukrainian forces continued a counteroffensive in the area. Russian-appointed governor Vladimir Saldo told state television there were no plans to return the city, which was the first regional capital to fall to Russia during the invasion .
Public information service Tass reported that Russian officials sent text messages alerting residents of the city early Wednesday and planned to relocate up to 60,000 people from areas on the western side of the Dnipro.
Russian forces should retreat to the east bank of the river and try to maintain a defensive line there, local council deputy Serhiy Khlan, who left the Kherson region, told television on Wednesday. “As of now, we have 29 settlements of Kherson region already liberated. Together with Kherson, we will see the entire right bank of Kherson region free from occupiers,” Khlan said.

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