The martial law is officially terminated. All the drama and panic accusations about total mobilization, curfew, and restriction of constitutional rights, as expected, remained mere fantasies. Opinion found out whether the introduction of martial law was worth it, how it influenced our country and what is the summary, what Russia’s behavior this month was remembered for, and what should be the further power’s strategy.
Whether the introduction of martial law was worth it?
Dmytro Sinchenko, the head of the Association of Political Sciences public organization, commenting on this issue, stressed that, for the most part, the introduction of the Martial law was worth it, as we had unanimous support from the allies, and the focus of the discussions was on the defense issues. On the other hand, according to the expert, we did not succeed in achieving the maximum.
“The introduction of the martial law to a large extent was worth it – we really did receive unanimous support from our allies, but we did not succeed in getting the maximum strike – we did not implement any additional sanctions on Russia, and didn’t stop the construction of the Nord Stream-2. But the very fact of the discussion of such sanctions at the international level already means a lot.
The martial law was effectively used in the domestic political discussion because the martial law changed the focus of this discussion from social and economic issues to defense one, which is one of the key elements of Poroshenko’s election strategy. And the discussion in the Verkhovna Rada during the voting allowed to show off the acting President,” is mentioned in the comment to Opinion.
Denys Moskalyk, the head of the Department of International Policy at the Institute for Socio-Political Studies, believes that the assessment depends on what actually considered being the main ML mission.
“That’s the matter of perspective. The main task of the martial law, in these conditions, is the consolidation of a part of the pro-state citizens in the conditions of the need to meet the external challenge, first of all, its consolidation around the president, as well as the working out of mechanisms for the introduction of emergency mode of operation. This task the martial law generally fulfilled, therefore its introduction from this point of view was worth it “, the expert thinks.
Roman Solomoniuk, a political scientist, communication expert, and analyst also agrees that the martial law was worth it. In his point of view, Ukraine managed to defeat the aggressor in the information war for the first time.
“Ukraine managed to draw attention to the aggression. For the first time in many years, we managed to fully win the ‘information war’ about the events in the Black and Azov Seas,” said Solomoniuk.
The main results of 30 days of martial law
According to Denys Moskalyk, the key result of the last thirty days is the opportunity to breathe easy, since all panic and disastrous predictions were false, and instead we managed to consolidate the society in front of a real threat.
“The main conclusion – the country can breathe easy, all disastrous predictions about the period of martial law and the motives for its introduction failed, society’s neuroticism at the beginning was excessive. It was possible to realize the consolidation of society in the face of the threat, namely its pro-state part, it was possible to successfully manage events related to the martial law: the Operational Standby Reserve corps were gathered, more people came to the reserve training with strong motivation, partial introduction of the martial law in the work of law-enforcement agencies, in particular in the area of crossing the border with the Russian Federation. In fact, the introduction of martial law became a well-conducted light training session for the country. What has not been realized is the active action against Russian agents in Ukraine, both hidden and obvious. This situation remained unchanged,” the expert comments.
Dmytro Sinchenko instead explained Opinion, that the martial law helped Ukraine to demonstrate how serious the situation is, which in its turn should provoke an appropriate level of international support.
“The main, though not public, objectives of the introduction of the martial law in Ukraine were, first of all, raising the rates and weight of the issue of marine aggression against Ukraine at the international level. In order to get the appropriate level of international support, Ukraine should demonstrate how serious the situation is. The introduction of martial law is perhaps the best way for such a demonstration.
Secondly, the martial law had a domestic political goal – it allowed to change the discourse within the country because, in the election rhetoric of politicians, Ukrainians have already begun to forget, that we are fighting with our old enemy – Moscow,” Dmytro Sinchenko explained.
A military expert Serhii Tsyhipa recalled, that the results of the introduction of the martial law should include increased combat readiness of the Armed Forces, restriction of entry for Russian men aged 18-60, etc.
“The martial law in 10 regions of Ukraine was introduced for the first time in the history of the state. Therefore, by summing up the express conclusions, we can say that we have – a redeployment of troops, tested logistics, training of the troops of the defense battalions, the training of operational reserve troops, increased combat readiness of the Armed Forces. In addition, there were restrictions on the entry to Ukraine of male-Russians aged 18-60 years, who had no valid excuse for visiting our country,” said Tsyhipa.
How did the martial law influence Ukraine?
Bohdan Petrenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian Institute of Research of Extremism, analyzing the results of the martial law for Ukraine, stressed that due to this experience we managed to overcome a certain psychological barrier, since, in case of a new necessity to confront the Russian offensive, the mechanism of the Armed Forces will be ready.
“First of all, we state that it was a light version of the martial law, and therefore, for many Ukrainians, it passed unnoticed. But in reality, it had several consequences. The first one is the psychological barrier to the introduction of martial law has been overcome. Therefore, when the question of the implementation of a more sophisticated version of the martial law arises, especially in the context of another Russian offensive, the mechanism will be ready. The society has partially got vaccination on “betrayals” and “fakes”, because none of them came to life.
Secondly, on the eve of the martial law in Ukraine on the European agenda, there was a question of reducing the sanctions pressure on Russia. The Kerch conflict and the martial law situation reminded Europe, that threats to it had never disappeared. And after it and the introduction of martial law in Ukraine, the emphasis in European politics on Russia has changed – the question was already between “extending of old sanctions” or “introducing new ones”.
Thirdly, the martial law contributed to the painless holding of the Synod in Ukraine and the establishment of the Orthodox Ukrainian Church. Thanks to the intensification of the force control in the middle of the country and the partial blockade of the entry of radical “Orthodox titushky”, Russian citizens, the church revolution was relatively peaceful,” Bohdan Petrenko explained Opinion.
But Denys Moskalyk told that the influence of martial law on the economy and society was minimal, moreover, thanks to it, it was possible to intensify the public reaction to the Kerch incident, to impose additional sanctions against the aggressor, and so on.
“Despite the initial neuroticism of the society and uncertainty of exchange rates, the influence of the martial law on the economy and society was minimal. In terms of domestic policy, the epic with the parliament’s decision showed the country a real split and blackmail by some parliamentary factions of the country’s leaders. This, in turn, was used by the pro-presidential forces for the smear campaign against the competitors. In the international relations this, to a certain extent, increased the resonance around the Kerch incident, and therefore gave additional grounds for imposing additional sanctions against the Russian Federation and providing Ukraine with additional assistance in the field of armaments,” Moskalyk said.
During the martial law, hryvnia managed to strengthen its positions. Serhii Tsyhipa is convinced.
“The economy was operating in a regular mode, and hryvnia during this month even strengthened its position relative to the dollar. Society almost didn’t notice the introduction of the ML, as evidenced by the holding of the Unity Synod of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and the celebration of Christmas on the Gregorian calendar. On the international arena, Ukraine’s positions have also become stronger and the best evidence of this could be GB’s Navy ship that entered Odesa waters,” the military expert said.
Dmytro Sinchenko confirmed that martial law didn’t have a negative impact on the economy or social policy. However, according to the expert, the authorities did not fully use all possibilities in the context of security.
“There was no negative impact on the economy or social policy of the introduction of martial law. Although, in my opinion, the authorities did not use all the opportunities provided by the introduction of this special regime to ensure security in the state,” says the head of the “Association of Political Sciences ” public organization.
How did Russia behave during these 30 days?
Denys Moskalyk, the head of the Association of Political Sciences public organization, said that the behavior of the aggressor was remembered by the intensified “actions” not at the front, but at the level of propaganda work and information and psychological battle.
“The Russian behavior was remembered by the relative silence on the front of the real action and the increased work of propaganda and the forces of the informational and psychological warfare of the enemy. The number of information releases, on the spread of which is the Ukrainian information space many bot farms were working, significantly increased. They concerned, first and foremost, with their own regime of martial law, such as the documents of the Ministry of Defense on the seizure of cars at European license plates from private owners, false insights from fictitious “Colonels” and “Lt. Colonels” regarding the termless state of war, the mass mobilization and the transfer of equipment for training during the war, passed off as the export of military equipment during the martial law, fakes about the transfer of the functions of the police to the military and the legitimacy of disobedience to the law enforcement officers during the martial law,” summed up the expert.
Roman Solomoniuk agreed that Russia actively fights on the information front.
“The number of planned informational operations aimed at promoting certain profitable for Russia politicians has increased. In particular, there is a noticeable activation of the bots which aim is to promote the image of Viktor Medvedchuk as a “peacemaker” capable of returning the captured to their home and to stop the war,” said Roman Solomoniuk.
According to the military expert Serhii Tsyhipa, the aggressor felt the mobilization of society and therefore refrained from military provocations.
“The aggressor country felt the internal mobilization of Ukrainian society; therefore, it did not dare to carry out military provocations near the border with Ukraine. At the same time, the leadership of the Russian Federation tried to impose the idea that the introduction of the Armed Forces in Ukraine is exclusively a campaign maneuver of President Poroshenko, who thus tries to be elected for a second term. In particular, Russian President Putin emphasized this at his annual press conference,” said Tsyhipa.
How to prevent further aggressor’s offensive?
Denys Moskalyk is convinced that the strategy of Ukraine after finishing martial law should consist of at least three components: the strengthening of the army and special services, the strengthening of interaction between the western allies and the fight with the internal agents.
“Further Ukraine’s strategy should include three main elements:
1)Strengthening the army and special services. This concerns first and foremost the major reforms that should strengthen the country’s ability to withstand large-scale hostilities and, accordingly, make such actions less likely: deploying and working out a system of charges for the Operational Ready and Standby Reserve, developing territorial defense, providing special services with tasks and competencies for fighting with agents, supply and development of new weapon units.
2)Intensification of interaction with western allies in Russia’s containment. This should include the involvement of international institutions in solving the problems of the Crimea and the Donbas, providing support for the regime of existing sanctions and introducing new ones, as well as Ukraine’s receiving of assistance and weapons from western partners and their rational use.
3)Fighting with internal agents, in particular, those working in the information space, increasing information literacy of citizens, conducting effective counter-propaganda,” says Denys Moskalyk.
Dmytro Sinchenko thinks that in order to prevent the offensive from the aggressor, it is necessary not only to focus on defense but also to attack. However, not on the front, but at the international level.
“In order to prevent an active Russian offensive, it is necessary not only to defend our country but also to attack. I do not mean armed offensive on the frontline. This should be the offensive at the international level, this should be the support of the national liberation movements of the enslaved peoples in the territory of the Russian Federation, this should be a provocation of conflicts within the ruling Kremlin elites…
Also, we have not yet made many steps within our own country that should have been implemented for a long time: we did not break diplomatic relations with Russia, we did not block the activity of Russian capital in Ukraine, we have not yet established a clear humanitarian policy to enhance the role of the Ukrainian language in society, an ideological work in the army, a replacement of the Russian-speaking cultural product, a counteraction to hostile propaganda and manipulation, because the positive steps taken in these directions cannot be called regular,” summed up the specialist.
By Dmytro Zhuravel