Russia announced on Monday (11) that it is facilitating access to Russian nationality for all Ukrainians, thus extending a measure that until now applied only to the territories of Ukraine occupied by its forces.
“Citizens of Ukraine (…) have the right to apply for citizenship of the Russian Federation according to the simplified procedure,” a decree by President Vladimir Putin published Monday indicates.
With this, Putin extends to all Ukrainians a measure approved in May this year for residents of Zaporizhia and Kherson, largely occupied by his forces since his offensive launched in February. The occupation authorities in these two regions have already announced that they are preparing a referendum on annexation to Russia. Residents of Luhansk and Donetsk could also have applied for Russian nationality.
Russia is accused of distributing Russian passports in neighboring countries to establish its influence. Before Ukraine, it did the same in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia, and in Transnistria in Moldova. Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova are former Soviet republics with pro-Western ambitions.
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