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Russian Men Still Banned as Martial Law Expires in Ukraine

Petro Poroshenko (Sergei Dolzhenko / EPA / TASS)

Russian men of combat age remain banned from entering Ukraine as martial law imposed in 10 regions bordering Russia expired one month after a naval skirmish renewed tensions between the neighboring countries.

On Nov. 25, Russian forces seized three Ukrainian naval ships and 24 sailors in the Kerch Strait separating the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, saying that the Ukrainian ships had breached its border. Ukraine instituted travel restrictions for Russian men between the ages of 16 and 60 on Nov. 30, a policy that had been imposed shortly after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Ukraine’s First Deputy Minister of Interior Serhiy Yarovoy announced Wednesday that the border restrictions would be extended, though he did not specify their duration.

All told, 1,650 Russian men were denied entry into Ukraine between Nov. 26 and Dec. 26, Ukraine's State Border Guard Service Oleh Slobodyan told Interfax Wednesday.

Earlier Wednesday Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced the end of martial law in Ukraine's 10 border regions with Russia. He said this month he did not plan to extend martial law beyond the one month initially foreseen unless there was a large scale attack from Russia.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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