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Some 3 mln Ukrainians may obtain Russian citizenship under simplified procedure — official

The Russian Interior Ministry received over 60,000 citizenship applications from Donbass residents

MOSCOW, August 15. /TASS/. Some 3 mln Ukrainian nationals will be entitled to a fast-track procedure of obtaining Russian citizenship, Valentina Kazakova, who heads the Russian Interior Ministry’s Main Department for Migration Issues, told reporters on Thursday.

"The total number of persons, who can take advantage of [the new rules for obtaining citizenship under a simplified procedure], reaches 3 million Ukrainian nationals," Kazakova said.

On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree, specifying the groups of persons entitled to a fast-track procedure when applying for Russian citizenship on humanitarian grounds. Among those eligible are nationals of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. "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 was made "in order to protect human rights and freedoms" based on generally accepted international laws. 

Since mid-June, nationals of the DPR started receiving Russian passports in a fast-tracked procedure. The documents are issued in southern Russia’s Rostov Region. Starting from July 1, online citizenship application service was launched in the republic, which is available at 47 offices. 

By now, Russia’s Interior Ministry has received over 60,000 citizenship applications from Ukrainians living in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR), Valentina Kazakova told reporters. "As of now, DPR and LPR residents have filed over 60,000 applications, and more than 25,000 people have already been granted Russian citizenship," Kazakova noted.