Putin declares martial law in recently absorbed regions



Russian President Vladimir Putin declared martial law in four regions of Ukraine recently absorbed by Moscow as his proxy officials in a southern-held city pulled out with Ukraine troops advancing.

Putin's decree to introduce military rule in the Moscow-controlled regions also gives additional power to authorities in Russian border areas and comes after a string of battlefield defeats.

"We are working on solving very complex large-scale tasks to ensure security and protect the future of Russia," Putin said.

The decree gives greater powers to limit movement to, from and within the areas and allows for the residents of those territories to be moved to "safe zones".