Jul 11, 2022 - World

Putin decree extends fast-track citizenship to all Ukrainians

People clear debris of a house

People clear debris in the village of Pidgayne in Ukraine on July 9. Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday extending a simplified process for obtaining Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians.

Why it matters: The fast-track procedure was previously only available in certain parts of Ukraine, and the move to expand it signals Russia's aim to broaden its influence inside Ukraine.

The big picture: Putin initially signed a decree offering a fast-track Russian naturalization process to residents of Ukraine's eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions in 2019.

  • In May, eligibility for the procedure was extended to the largely Russian-occupied regions of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, AP reported.
  • Last month, Russian forces handed out Russian passports to Ukrainians living in the occupied cities of Kherson and Melitopol.
  • Ukrainian officials have not yet responded to the extension of the program to all Ukrainians, per AP.

Go deeper: Russia issues passports to Ukrainians living in two occupied cities

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