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Russian PM: Nearly 1.5 million Ukrainians in occupied territories given Russian passports

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 30, 2023 11:04 PM 1 min read
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Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on May 30 that nearly 1.5 million Ukrainians in the occupied territories have been given Russian passports over the past nine months, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

The Russian Internal Affairs Ministry claimed in early February that over 8,000 residents of occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson oblasts applied "daily" for Russian citizenship.

However, Ukrainians in the occupied territories who refuse Russian citizenship are often threatened with deportation or with being forcibly mobilized into the Russian military.

In late April, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed a decree "allowing" Ukrainian citizens to be deported from the occupied territories by 2024 if they refuse to take Russian citizenship.

Putin also signed a bill on May 29 that "permits" elections to be held in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

Russian forces partially control Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, and Ukraine still holds the capital cities of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

Ukraine's Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said on national television in late May that Ukrainians who were forced to take Russian citizenship to survive in the occupied territories would not be punished by Ukrainian authorities after the war.

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