Vladimir Putin expands fast-track Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians

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Putin, Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree expanding a fast track to Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians.

Until recently, only residents of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as people in the southern Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions – large parts of which are under Russian control – were eligible for the simplified procedure.

Between 2019, when the procedure was first introduced for residents of Donetsk and Luhansk, and this year more than 720,000 residents of the rebel-held areas in the two regions – about 18% of the population – have received Russian passports.

In late May this year, three months after Russia invaded Ukraine, the fast-track procedure was also offered to residents of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.

A month ago the first Russian passports were reportedly handed out there.

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