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Ukraine to extend martial law and general mobilization

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Ukraine to extend martial law and general mobilization

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Ukrainian martial law and general mobilization are expected to be extended for another 90 days.

Under martial law, the Ukrainian military possesses authority over civilian affairs, and general mobilization prevents Ukrainian men aged 18-60 from leaving the country in order to be available for military service. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has continuously extended martial law and general mobilization since February 2022.

Ukraine’s presidential election was originally scheduled for March 31, but as the Ukrainian constitution prohibits elections from taking place while the country is under martial law, Zelensky will remain in power possibly until next year. However, Zelensky’s extension of martial law is unlikely to be perceived as just a manipulative power grab on his part, as parties in the Ukrainian parliament unanimously concurred that postponing elections is the right move for the time being.

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Nevertheless, the additional time will likely be advantageous for Zelensky’s candidacy, and there are concerns that Zelensky’s dismissal of top military commander General Valery Zaluzhny also stemmed in part from the threat Zaluzhny may pose to his re-election. Zelensky and Zaluzhny’s positions on the war have publicly clashed at times and Zelensky cautioned generals from entering politics shortly after. Although Zaluzhny is stepping aside for now and has not stated an intention to enter into politics, it is still a possibility that would create a significant challenge for Zelensky, as one poll demonstrated that Zelensky would only edge out Zaluzhny by a mere two points in an election.

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