The first group of residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR) have received Russian passports issued under a fast-track procedure in accordance with the Russian president’s decree. A passport ceremony took place in Russia’s Rostov region, where over 60 Donbass residents had arrived on Friday morning.
In late April, two offices of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Migration Service were established in the Rostov region: one in the Neklinovsky district and the other in the city of Novoshakhtinsk. The offices provide passport services to DPR and LPR residents respectively.
On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree, which eases 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.