On Feb. 20, a blockade activist stands on railway wagons loaded with coal from Russian-occupied territories that have been stopped near Bakhmut, Ukraine.
Photo by Volodymyr Petrov
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council on March 15 banned trade with Russian-occupied areas in the Donbas.
“The authorities have heard criticism and society’s concerns,” President Petro Poroshenko said at a meeting of the council.
The decision is seen as a reaction to the blockade of trade with Russian-occupied territories by activists, which started in late January. A police crackdown on blockade activists on March 13 triggered nationwide protests, with some activists entering regional administrations in Western Ukraine.