Martial laws comes to an end in Ukraine after 30 days

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Ukrainian soldiers in Ozerne air baseImage source, AFP
Image caption,
Ukraine's military has been on high alert during the martial law which has been in place for 30 days

Martial law declared in parts of Ukraine has ended after 30 days, amid continuing tensions with Russia in the Kerch Strait.

The measure was in force in 10 regions along the Black Sea and the borders with Russia, Belarus and Moldova.

It was declared after the capture of three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 sailors by Russian forces in November.

Russia's foreign ministry said it hoped Western countries would dissuade Ukraine from any "provocations".

During the emergency, Ukrainian armed forces were put on combat readiness and reservists were called up.

Russian men aged 16 to 60 were barred from Ukraine under martial law, which ended at 12:00 GMT.

President Petro Poroshenko said earlier this month that he did not plan to extend martial law unless there was a large-scale attack from Russia.

'Act of aggression'

Last month naval forces from the two countries clashed off Crimea, a disputed territory which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Russia opened fire on and later captured three Ukrainian vessels, claiming they had illegally entered its waters.

The Ukrainian sailors were taken captive during the incident which Russia called an "act of aggression".

Ukraine said its ships had needed no Russian permission to cross the strait.

In a visit to the country last week, British Defence Minister Gavin Williamson said a Royal Navy ship had been sent there in support of Ukraine.