Amateur Radio in Ukraine Ordered Off the Air in State of Emergency

A state of emergency was declared in Ukraine just prior to the Russian military invasion, except for eastern Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts starting on February 24th.

The parliament approved the decree introduced by President Volodymyr Zelensky on February 23rd, as the threat of Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine continues to grow.

The International Amateur Radio Union was monitoring the events. Greg Mossop, GØDUB, I-A-R-U Region One’s emergency communications coordinator, said the events in Ukraine are obviously fast moving, and although there were early reports of telecommunications failures it appears these may have been due to the volume of calls on the networks.

Webcams in the area are functioning, and people do seem to be able to make calls. Sadly, the Ukrainian National Society has reported that a ban on the operation of amateur stations in Ukraine has been put in place for thirty days commencing
February 24th. I-A-R-U Region One and its member societies are monitoring the situation closely, but remind all amateur radio operators they must follow their national laws and regulations.

The Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts already have a special legal status because of Russia’s ongoing occupation since 2014.

Among other things, the state of emergency allows the authorities to temporarily limit the public’s constitutional rights.

As published on the website of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s unicameral legislative body, the state of emergency includes regulation of T-V and radio activities, and a ban on the operation amateur radio transmitters for personal and collective use.

The decree also imposes a ban on mass events, and on strikes, and authorizes checking the documents of citizens, and if necessary, conducting searches on persons, vehicles, cargo, office space, and housing.

A curfew could also be imposed. The U-S news website Politico quoted Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, describing the actions as preventive measures to keep calm in the country.

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