Ukraine’s Parliament approves draft law allowing citizens to carry firearms, act in self-defense

On Wednesday, Ukraine’s parliament voted to approve a draft law, in the first reading, which would give permission for Ukrainians to carry firearms as well as act in self-defense.

Security concerns have been heightened in the country as tensions increase between Ukraine and its neighboring country of Russia. 

“The adoption of this law is fully in the interests of the state and society,” wrote the authors of the draft law in a note, saying the law was necessary due to “existing threats and dangers for the citizens of Ukraine.”

The approval came after Russia sent troops into two parts of eastern Ukraine, recognizing the two separatist-controlled Ukrainian territories on Monday. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s move was called “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine” by U.S. President Joe Biden during comments made on Tuesday.

The Biden administration and its allies announced a “first tranche” of sanctions against Russia, as tensions peak and invasions begin, and Ukraine’s parliament then met to vote on the law to allow citizens to defend themselves and carry firearms. “The adoption of this law is fully in the interests of the state and society,” said the draft law’s authors in a note. 

Biden has said in the past that his administration believes Putin had plans to attack Kyiv, which is the capitol of Ukraine. Earlier in the week, Putin delivered a long anti-Ukraine speech when he said that “modern-day Ukraine was in full and in whole created by Russia.”

In response to Putin’s actions, Biden said, “To put it simply, Russia just announced that it is carving a big chunk of Ukraine. If we listen to his speech last night…he’s setting up a rationale to go much further. This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.” 




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