Putin expands fast-track Russian citizenship to all Ukraine

KHARKIV: When Russian missiles hit an important Ukrainian city, Russian President Vladimir Putin extended a fast-track procedure for Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians on Monday, another attempt to bolster Moscow’s influence over the devastating war. Ukraine.
Until recently, only residents of the eastern separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk of Ukraine, as well as residents of southern Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Regions, most of which are currently under Russian control, are already eligible to apply for simplified passport procedures.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Klueba said Putin’s signing of the decree issuing a passport, which also applies to stateless residents in Ukraine, was an example of his “predatory desire”.
“Russia is using a simplified procedure for issuing passports to tighten the noose around the necks of residents of the temporarily occupied territories of our state, forcing them to engage in criminal activities of the Russian Federation. occupation authorities and the military invaded Russia,” Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry added in a statement.
Between 2019, when this procedure was applied to the people of Donetsk and Luhansk, and this year more than 720,000 people living in rebel-held areas in the two regions – accounting for about 18% of the population – received Russian passport.
At the end of May, three months later Russia Invading Ukraine, expedited procedures are also offered to residents of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.
The move to issue Russian passports appears to be part of Putin’s strategy of political influence, which also involves the introduction of the Russian ruble into occupied territory in Ukraine and could eventually lead to the annexation of the Russian currency. added Ukrainian territory to the Russian Federation. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula in 2014.
The Russian president set the stage for such moves even before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, writing an essay last summer declaring that Russians and Ukrainians were one people and tried to attempts to undermine Ukraine’s legitimacy as an independent state. Reports have emerged of Russian authorities confiscating Ukrainian passports of some citizens.
The passport announcement came hours after Russia shelled Ukraine’s second-largest city on Monday, killing at least six people and injuring 31, prosecutors and local officials said. . The Russian military has carried out three missile strikes on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, in what one official called “absolute terror”.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the attacks took place at deployment points of Ukraine’s “nationalist battalions”. Governor of Kharkiv Region. Oleh Syniehubov said on Telegram that the shelling came from multiple rocket launches, and that the injured people hospitalized included children between the ages of 4 and 16.
“Only civilian structures – shopping malls and the homes of peaceful Kharkiv residents – were subjected to Russian fire. Many shells fell into the courtyard of a private house. Garages and cars were also destroyed. Several fires broke out,” Syniehubov wrote.
Earlier, he said one rocket destroyed a school, another hit a residential building, while a third landed near warehouse facilities.
“All (three have been launched) are intended exclusively for civilian subjects. This is absolute terror! ‘ said Syniehubov.
Alexander Peresolin, a resident of Kharkiv, said the attacks happened without warning, with an explosion so violent that he lost consciousness. Neighbors carried him to the basement, where he regained consciousness.
“I was sitting and talking to my wife,” he said. “I don’t understand what happened.”
The airstrikes come two days after a Russian missile attack hit apartment buildings in eastern Ukraine. The death toll in the attack on the town of Chasiv Yar rose to 31 on Monday. Nine people were rescued from the rubble but many are still believed to be trapped, emergency officials said.
The attack late Saturday destroyed three buildings in a residential area mostly used by people working in factories. The Russian Defense Ministry yesterday confirmed that Chasiv Yar’s target “was a brigade defending Ukrainian territory and “more than 300 nationalists” were killed. The town is also home to the president of Ukraine.
Russian attacks continue in eastern Ukraine, with the Governor of the Luhansk region. Serhiy Haidai said on Monday that Russian forces had carried out five missile strikes and four shelling rounds on settlements on the border with the Donetsk region.
The Luhansk and Donetsk regions form Ukraine’s eastern industrial hub known as the Donbas, where separatist rebels have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014. Earlier this month, Russia captured a major stronghold. the last of the Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk, the city of Lysychansk.
Ukrainian forces continue to strike at what they say are Russian ammunition depots, opening a possible counterattack to retake Russian-occupied territory.
Ukrainian officials said on social media late Monday that an ammunition depot in Novy Kakhovka, in the largely Russian-occupied Kherson region, had been destroyed.
Russia’s Tass news agency, citing another source, said the target was a mineral fertilizer storage facility that exploded and a market, hospital and damaged homes. Some ingredients in fertilizers can be used as ammunition.
Tass said there were casualties, but did not provide an estimate and claimed the weapons used in the attack were fired from the US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS. Ukrainian officials did not comment on the type of weapon used.

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