MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. About 40,000 Ukrainian citizens have been granted temporary asylum in Russia, head of the Main Directorate for Migration of the Russian Interior Ministry Valentina Kazakova told reporters on Wednesday.
"Back in 2014, Russia was able to receive about a million citizens from southeastern Ukraine on its territory - more than any European state," she said. "In late 2016, about 450,000 Ukrainian citizens had temporary asylum on the territory of Russia. As of today, the majority of them have been integrated in the Russian society, receiving Russian citizenship. Currently, there are about 40,000 Ukrainian citizens with temporary asylum in Russia," the official said during a round table discussion on migration issues.
On April 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree, which relaxes 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 summer 2019, first passport offices for Donbass residents began functioning in Russia’s Rostov Region, with new facilities opening every couple of months.