Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said this on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.
"Passports are a hybrid weapon of the Russian Federation. Russia is fighting not only with missiles, artillery, propaganda, information and psychological operations, but also with its passports. This is a targeted, well-developed, large-scale campaign that they were implementing before 2014 as one of the elements of preparations for war," said Maliar.
Now the Russians are using passportization to strengthen their criminal regime in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
According to Maliar, the enemies act in two ways. On the one hand, they encourage Ukrainian citizens to take the initiative and get a passport on their own. On the other hand, they intimidate, threaten with violence and physically force people to obtain a Russian passport.
At the same time, the Russian authorities are hiding certain information.
"The Russian passport legalizes the violent actions of the Russian Federation against a citizen, since in part such violence is permitted by law in Russia. Yes, this is a violation of international law, but the fact that a person has a Russian passport de facto deprives Ukraine and the international community of the possibility of effective assistance," noted Maliar.
She emphasized that the Russian authorities are not handing out passports to protect people or save lives.
"The Russian authorities are trying to protect themselves and make repressions against Ukrainians legal," emphasized Maliar.
In addition, the enemy uses the Russian passport for forced mobilization into the ranks of the enemy army and for using passport data to falsify the results of the so-called elections in the temporarily occupied territories.