POKROVSKOYE /Rostov region/, June 14. /TASS/. As many as 12,000 citizens of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR) have applied for Russian passports after the Russian president signed a decree introducing a fast-track citizenship option for Donbass residents, Head of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Rostov Region Branch Police Lieutenant General Oleg Agarkov told reporters on Friday.
"As of now, the Rostov region’s migration service has received 12,000 passport applications that will be processed within three months. As many as 1,200 applications have already been processed and approved," he said.
On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree, which eases Russian citizenship rules for residents of certain regions of southeastern Ukraine. "Individuals permanently residing in certain areas of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions have the right to apply for Russian citizenship under a fast-track procedure," the decree reads. According to the document, the decision has been made "in order to protect human rights and freedoms" based on generally accepted international laws.
In late April, two offices of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Migration Service were established in the Rostov region: one in the Neklinovsky district and the other in the city of Novoshakhtinsk. The offices provide passport services to DPR and LPR residents respectively.