Russian forces in occupied Melitopol are forcing residents to get Russian passports to receive their payments, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Dec. 11.
Russian troops are forcing locals to switch from Ukrainian currency to the Russian Ruble.
Russian forces are also reportedly trying to encourage local residents to collaborate by raising assistance to pensioners and increasing salaries for those who agree to work in Russian-established institutions, the military said.
EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said on July 13 that the EU won't recognize Russian passports issued to Ukrainian citizens in occupied territories.
The simplified procedure was previously used to hand out Russian passports in Russian-occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where Russia has distributed almost a million passports since 2019.
On Dec. 4, Ukraine's General Staff reported that Russian forces in occupied Skadovsk are forcing pensioners to get Russian passports in order to receive their payments.