The Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, on Thursday approved the imposition of martial law in the country for a period of 30 days in the wake Russia's "military invasion" of the country.
The decree signed by President Volodymyr Zelensky on the imposition of martial law says: "Martial law is imposed from 5.30 a.m on February 24, 2022 for a period of 30 days. This decision was made in connection with the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and on the basis of the proposal of the National Security and Defense Council and in accordance with Ukrainian law."
As per the law, the constitutional rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens, provided in Articles 30-34, 38, 39, 41-44, 53 of the Constitution of Ukraine, may be temporarily restricted.
"The cabinet ministers must immediately put into effect a plan to implement and ensure measures of the martial law in the country."
Further the department for state emergencies has been instructed to immediately, with assistance of other departments and organisations, bring a single state civil protection system.
Similarly, the Kiev administration, and local bodies have been asked to establish defence councils and provide assistance to the military command in introducing and implementing measures of the martial law.
Earlier in a statement, Zelensky urged the civilians to stay at home, adding that there are "strikes" on Ukraine's military and other important defence facilities.
"The armed forces, law enforcement agencies of the state are on alert. The National Security and Defence Council is working in an emergency mode," he added.
"Our diplomats are informing the world about what is happening. Ukrainians will never give up their freedom and independence. Only we, all citizens of Ukraine, have been determining our future since 1991. But now not only Ukraine's fate, but also what life in Europe will be like, is being decided," Zelensky has asserted.
The imposition of the martial law comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request from the heads of the Donbas Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, he had decided to conduct a special military operation to protect the people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Ukrainian regime for eight years".
Putin said Russia did not plan to occupy Ukraine, but warned that Moscow's response would be "instant" if anyone tries to take on Russia, the BBC reported.
He said that the Ukrainian people would be able "to choose freely" who runs the country and reiterated that his country's actions were in "self-defence".
The Russian leader urged the Ukrainian soldiers who are facing off Russian-backed rebels to lay down weapons and return to their homes. He also told them that their "fathers and grandfathers did not fight so they could help neo-Nazis".
Putin added that clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces were "inevitable" and "only a question of time".