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National Resistance Center: Ukrainians denied medical treatment in Russian-occupied territories

by Abbey Fenbert January 22, 2024 4:06 AM 1 min read
Photo illustration of a Russian passport, Aug. 5 2022. (Adrien Fillon/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Residents of Ukraine's Russian-occupied regions who lack Russian passports are being denied medical treatment, the National Resistance Center reported on Jan. 21.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed an executive order April 2023 that set a deadline for residents in the occupied areas of Ukraine to apply for Russian citizenship. Refusal to accept a Russian passport carries severe penalties, including loss of property rights, prison sentences, and deportation.

The Center said that medical facilities in the occupied territories will only offer services to residents who have Russian health insurance. Obtaining Russian insurance coverage requires a Russian passport.

"As a result, most residents are denied medical services," the Center said.

According to the Center, Ukrainian passport-holders can still access ambulance services in the event of an emergency. This gives Ukrainians the same right to medical services that foreign visitors would receive.

Residents of Ukraine's occupied territories are more likely to live closer to the front lines, where shelling is a daily occurrence and civilian casualties are high.

The Center previously reported in August 2023 that civilians in occupied areas of southern Ukraine were denied access to hospitals because local facilities were overwhelmed with wounded Russian soldiers.

Forced passportization campaigns in the occupied areas of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts are part of Russia's ongoing efforts to undermine Ukrainian national identity and bolster the illegal occupation regime.  Those who hold on to their Ukrainian passports are subject to intimidation, restrictions to social benefits, and possible violence.

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