Ukraine has reportedly just passed a new law that allows civilians to kill invading Russian soldiers without suffering any punishment.
According to a reporter from The Kyiv Independent, who posted a screenshot of the legislation, the decree was signed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
It states: “Civilians shall not be criminally liable for the use of firearms against persons who carry out armed aggression against Ukraine, if such weapons are used in accordance with the requirements of the Law of Ukraine."
The new bill will also allow civilians to have access to firearms, but the bill stated weapons must be turned over to the authorities once the war is over.
A new bill officially makes it totally legal for civilians to kill Russian military personnel deployed to Ukraine pic.twitter.com/6EQ2H92qEY— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) March 9, 2022
A Twitter user who translated the decree explained that the bill automatically turns all Ukrainian civilians into combatants, which effectively eliminates their status as 'protected persons' under the Geneva Convention.
The move comes after Russian troops targeted innocent civilians in an airstrike that hit the southern port city of Mariupol.
The explosion allegedly happened close to a hospital that injured at least 17 people, some of which included women in labour.
Emergency services and police were called to the scene to help evacuate victims.
President Zelenskyy tweeted that children were also injured in these vicious attacks.
"Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage," he said.
“Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror? Close the sky right now!
“Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity.”
Mariupol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage. Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror? Close the sky right now! Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity. pic.twitter.com/FoaNdbKH5k— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 9, 2022
The city council explained how 'the Russian occupying forces have dropped several bombs on the hospital' and described 'the destruction is colossal'.
Sine the Kremlin's invasion, many Ukrainians have vowed to join the national army to take on Russian troops and defend their country.
They've also helped out troops by working day and night to build molotov cocktails.
However, the new decree from the Ukrainian government will allow them to get involved without officially enlisting.
As Russian troops continue to advance towards Kyiv, Moscow said they would establish ‘humanitarian corridors’ in cities including Mariupol, Kharkiv and the capital to allow Ukrainians to flee the country.
It’s also been estimated that more than two million Ukrainians have fled the country since the invasion.
Those numbers could very much increase given there are no signs of Vladimir Putin holding back from his mission to take control of his western neighbour.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Justin Yau
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