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Ukrainian employees of a public institution in Russian-occupied Stanytsia Luhanska, Luhansk Oblast, were told by Russian forces that only those who have registered at a Russian bank would be able to receive their salary in June, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on May 31.
The move is part of Moscow's efforts to force its citizenship on Ukrainians residing in Russian-occupied territories, as they can't open an account in a Russian bank without providing a Russian passport.
The town of Stanytsia Luhanska has been occupied by Russian troops since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion in February last year.
Russia declared the "annexation" of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts in September 2022 after Russia's proxies held sham referendums in the occupied parts of these regions.
Meanwhile, in the Crimean city of Yalta, Moscow-installed illegal government is seizing real estate from Ukrainians who have refused to take Russian passports, according to the General Staff. Russia is placing its military personnel into the seized housing, the Ukrainian military added.
The Crimean peninsula has been under Russian occupation since 2014 following a fake referendum staged by Russia to annex the territory. Since then, Moscow has consistently pressured Crimean residents and violated their human rights.
Russia has distributed around a million Russian passports on Ukrainian territory since 2019. On July 13, European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said the EU wouldn't recognize Russian passports issued to Ukrainian citizens in occupied territories.