A curfew and a communications censorship took effect Sunday in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, according to Russian state media.
Curfew: The curfew will last from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. local time on weekdays, starting on Monday, according to a decree signed by the region’s Russia-backed leader, Denis Pushilin, state news agency TASS reported.
Some officials and public employees will be exempt from the order, including repair workers and those overseeing the supplies of food and other essential items. Police, security personnel and people with special passes will also have permission to move during the curfew hours.
Pushilin signed the decree on September 18, but it went into effect on Sunday when it was published, according to TASS.
Censorship: An additional decree imposes a military censorship on mail, internet communications and phone conversations, according to TASS.
Under the order, the Russian Federal Security Service and the DPR’s so-called “Information Ministry” will develop and enforce censorship measures, according to TASS.
Local officials characterized the move as an effort to combat enemy saboteurs and reconnaissance officers, according to state news agency RIA Novosti.
Key context: War broke out in 2014 after Russian-backed rebels seized government buildings in towns and cities across eastern Ukraine. Intense fighting left portions of the Ukrainian Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the hands of Russian-backed separatists.
The separatist-controlled areas became known as the Luhansk and the Donetsk People’s Republics. The Ukrainian government in Kyiv asserts the two regions are, in effect, temporarily Russian-occupied. They have not been recognized by any governments other than Russia and its close allies Syria and North Korea.
The Ukrainian government has steadfastly refused to talk directly with the leaders of either self-proclaimed government, and has set its sights on reclaiming control of the territories in its fight against Russia’s full-scale invasion.
CNN’s Rob Picheta contributed to this report.