Russian President Vladimir Putin writes an order on Wednesday further expanding the number of Ukrainian citizens who can apply for fast-monitor Russian passports.
Moscow made a move ahead of a Ukrainian parliamentary election on Sunday, when a Russia-friendly party may become the most active competitor of the more popular Servant of the People party, led by new president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, based on opinion polls.
The new order, published on the Kremlin website, amended Putin’s earlier decree, which made it simpler for residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine to apply for Russian passports.
According to the new document, residents of the neighbouring government-controlled parts of East-Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions can also use this procedure if they registered as permanently living there as of April 2014, when the conflict started.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin places a candle as he visits the Transfiguration of the Saviour Cathedral at the Valaam Monastery in the Republic of Karelia, Russia July 17, 2019. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin through returns
Total Five years of war between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed forces have lost their life 13,000 people despite a ceasefire signed in 2015. Zelenskiy has said he will do everything in his energy to end the conflict.
Putin had already expanded the list of people eligible for fast-tracked passports by adding Ukrainians who once lived in Ukraine’s Crimea region before Russia annexed it in 2014, and citizens of Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Afghanistan who were born in Russia during the Soviet era.