Ukraine: DPR officials begin accepting applications for obtaining Russian citizenship

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Published on 3 May 2019, 12:28
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Dozens of residents of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk were queuing by a local migration service department on Friday, as the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic officials began accepting applications for obtaining Russian citizenship.

The people queuing outside the migration centre hoped that a Russian passport would bring security and stability into their lives.

"This [the passport] provides us with work and medical services, this is the possibility to get an international passport," said Donetsk resident Vladimir.

Another local said that "people are so tired of uncertainty because of all these events in the last five years. Getting the passport will give hope and maybe the security for our citizens."

According to DPR's Interior Ministry, only people who permanently reside in the republic will be able to apply for Russian citizenship.

After submitting the application at DPR's migration centre, the citizens' documents will then be sent to Russia's Rostov-on-Don to be approved. According to DPR officials, this process will take approximately three months.

On 24 April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree simplifying the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for residents Donetsk and Lugansk People Republics calling it "a purely humanitarian issue."

Outgoing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy have since condemned the decree. Poroshenko has called the decree "Russia's unprecedented interference in the domestic affairs of an independent state."

"Unfortunately, this decree does not bring us closer to the solution of the main task - the ceasefire," a statement of Zelenskiy's staff said.

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