To legitimize its unauthorized takeover of Ukrainian territory, Russia announced on Friday that it would implement Moscow time in portions of four Ukrainian regions currently under the control of its invading military forces. In addition to issuing Russian passports and mandating the use of the ruble currency in the occupied areas of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, this move further solidifies Russia’s violation of international law in President Vladimir Putin’s declaration to annex and incorporate these regions into Russia.
Russia announced on Friday that it would implement Moscow time in four Ukrainian regions that are now under its control as part of its ongoing illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory.#Russia #Ukraine #MoscowTime #RussiaUkraineWar #UkraineRussiaWar #ukrainianterritory #Moscow pic.twitter.com/twxDgoJLIG
— News Live (@NewsLiveFree) January 28, 2023
Russia has announced that it will change the time in the regions it has annexed by moving the clocks forward by one hour, aligning them with Moscow time. In the coming days, the regions of DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye, and Kherson will be included in the second time zone, which follows Moscow time. The Ministry of Industry and Trade stated that this move integrates these regions into Russia’s legal framework.
In September, President Putin signed a decree to annex four Ukrainian regions, even though Russian forces did not fully control them. The exact date of the time change in the annexed areas was not specified. However, it should be noted that Ukraine follows daylight saving time, which means that all of its clocks will be moved forward by one hour on March 26th, regardless of Russia’s actions.
Russia Imposes Moscow Time in Annexed Ukrainian Regions
In November, Ukrainian forces retook control of the regional capital of Kherson, the only one Moscow had captured since the start of the invasion. Pro-Russian forces have been in control of the capitals of Luhansk and Donetsk since 2014, and Russian forces have not been able to reach the city of Zaporizhzhia. Despite facing numerous military defeats, Putin has announced that Russia will not relinquish control of the annexed regions. The Kremlin has stated that the regions not under Russian control must be freed from Ukraine.
The illegal annexation has received widespread condemnation from the global community. The change in time zones in the occupied regions is the most recent action taken by Russian authorities to assimilate captured Ukrainian territories, both culturally and legally, and integrate the inhabitants of these regions into Russia. In the annexed regions, local authorities have been altering the names of roads and highways to Russian versions and enforcing the use of the Russian educational curriculum in schools. Additionally, Russian currency and passports are being circulated in these areas.
In response to these actions, Japan imposed a new round of sanctions on Russia, which included a ban on exporting various items, such as water cannon systems, tear gas, explosives, X-ray inspection equipment, and robots, to Russia on Friday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated to the press that the sanctions imposed by Tokyo will not have a significant impact on Russia. In an additional move to suppress the media, the Russian prosecutor general’s office has deemed Meduza, a well-known independent Russian news outlet, an “undesirable” organization in Russia.
Meduza News Outlet Declared “Undesirable” in Russia by Prosecutor’s Office
The Russian Prosecutor General’s office declared Meduza, a popular independent news outlet, as an “undesirable” organization in Russia on Thursday, which the European Union condemned. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said that this decision shows that the Russian authorities not only want to disseminate manipulative information about Russia’s war against Ukraine but also want to prevent independent media from providing Russian audiences with access to fact-based information.
On Friday, regions across Ukraine continued to face emergency power outages because of recent Russian airstrikes on Thursday. According to Ukrenergo, the state power grid operator, the missile strikes caused power failures in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Lviv. Ukrainian authorities reported that the attacks resulted in eleven deaths and eleven injuries on Thursday. On Friday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that they had targeted Ukraine’s infrastructure using drones and a missile strike from the air and sea during Thursday’s assault.
Continuous Supply of Weapons to Ukraine
The Ministry claimed that the attacks had successfully hindered the transportation of weapons and ammunition, including those supplied by NATO member nations such as the United States. If he were still in office, Donald Trump claimed that the ongoing conflict would not have occurred, and he would be able to end it within a day through negotiations via his social media platform Truth Social.
On Friday, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, commented on former President Donald Trump’s statement that he would have been able to end the war in 24 hours if he were still in office. He stated that the United States and its allies had no interest in peace and that Washington held the power to end the war by instructing Kyiv to stop fighting. However, he added that the current White House administration is unwilling to use this power and instead chooses to continue arming Ukraine.