WASHINGTON, July 14. /TASS/. All Ukrainian nationals who receive Russian citizenship are doing it voluntarily, Washington’s allegations that Russia takes away their Ukrainian passports are nothing but low-grade disinformation, the Russian embassy to the United States said on Wednesday.
"Ukrainian receive Russian citizenship voluntarily. Allegations about forcible confiscation of Ukrainian passports are low-grade Western disinformation," it said in a press statement.
"Another attempt at demonizing Russia’s armed forces obviously stems from discontent over the successes of the special military operation," it noted. "It is also obvious that such allegations are geared to heighten the degree of Russophobia to attract attention to the developments in Ukraine and mobilize additional resources to support the Kiev regime."
"Russia’s armed forces, public organizations and general public offer all-round assistance to people living on liberated territories. Humanitarian cargoes are dispatched regularly to the people in the Donbass republics, as well in the Kharkov, Zaporozhye, and Kherson regions <…>. Humanitarian corridors are functioning and people can use them to move freely in any direction," the embassy said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier on Wednesday that Washington believes that Russia is forcibly keeping up to 1.6 million Ukrainians on its territory. He claimed that their Ukrainian passports were confiscated and Russian passports were issued instead.
According to the latest data, more than 2.5 million refugees have arrived in Russia from Ukraine and Donbass, with around half of them being citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).