For the past six months, 55,000 residents of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have applied for Russian citizenship.
According to ‘DPR’ Migration Service Deputy Head Igor Skrebov, more than 35,000 persons got a confirmation of receiving Russian citizenship. Of these, about 33,000 have already obtained Russian passports.
In late April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree easing citizenship rules for residents of the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk republics. The decision was made ‘in order to protect human rights and freedoms’. In the wake of it, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin called on the EU and the G7 countries to introduce new sanctions against Russia. Ukraine also declared it would recognize passports issued by the Russian Federation to Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas as illegal and invalid.
In turn, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov promised that the simplified procedure for obtaining citizenship would remain in force regardless of the reaction of Kyiv.