The decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin to grant citizenship to residents of the territories seized during the war with Ukraine has borne fruit.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said today that nearly 1.5 million people in the newly annexed Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions have already received Russian passports.
Russia annexed four regions in September last year following a referendum. Now Russia has 153 million inhabitants, but most importantly, it has significantly increased its industrial base (15%), agricultural production (10%) and ore factories, mines, shipyards, etc. (12%).
Russia’s economic profit potentially increased by more than $1 trillion. euro per decade.
The decree, recently signed by Putin, outlines ways in which citizens of Ukraine, holders of passports issued by self-proclaimed Russian-backed republics, and residents of four designated regions can begin the process of obtaining Russian citizenship or legalizing their status. However, the decree also provides that anyone who does not take these measures by July 1, 2024 will be be considered a foreign citizen.
The decree also gives the authorities the right deport people from these four Russian-held Ukrainian regions if Russian or pro-Russian authorities believe that these people pose a threat to Russia’s national security or are participating in unsanctioned demonstrations.
In January, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukrainians holding a Russian passport would be stripped of their citizenship.
“People who have dual, triple citizenship, including citizenship of the Russian Federation, who have spiritual or political influence on our country, all these people must necessarily remain with only one citizenship, Russian, and live in the corresponding state,” Zelensky said at a briefing in Lviv.
However, already 4 months later, Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the office of the President of Ukraine, said that the Ukrainian authorities would not persecute residents of the country’s territories annexed by Russia, who “passively” received Russian passports.