"According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, the Russian occupational command stepped up measures to force the personnel of formations and unit 1 (Donetsk) and unit 2 (Luhansk) of the army corps of the Russian Armed Forces to apply for Russian passports," he said at a briefing on Friday.
As Ukrinform reported, on July 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin simplified the process of obtaining Russian citizenship for all Ukrainian citizens residing in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and not only in the occupied areas of Donbas.
The Presidential Office of Ukraine condemned this step, saying that it created additional obstacles to de-escalation of the conflict and reintegration of Donbas. At the same time, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to elaborate a mechanism for granting Ukrainian citizenship as the second one to ethnic Ukrainians from friendly countries who seek to join the process of development of their historic homeland.
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