Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree regarding the simplified procedure for granting Russian citizenship and passports for migrants from the Crimea and the Donbas.
According to the document published on the official Kremlin website, the simplified procedure will apply to Ukrainian citizens as well as their children, spouses and parents, and stateless persons who were born and permanently resided in the Crimea and Sevastopol, but left these territories before March 18, 2014.
The simplified procedure will also apply to those Ukrainian citizens who have a temporary residence permit in the Russian Federation, a refugee certificate, or a certificate of a resettlement program to Russia, and persons who lived in the territory of certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of April 7 and April 27, 2014, respectively.
Earlier, the Press Secretary for the Russian President, Dmitry Peskov, said that the simplified procedure for residents of the Donbass to obtain Russian passports was made "to provide them with valid documents." Prior to this, Putin proposed to introduce common citizenship for Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
In the spring of 2014, Russia annexed the Crimea, and has been involved in the war in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, continuing the armed aggression against Ukraine.