Putin Grants Russian Citizenship to 35 Military-Age Ukrainian Men

President Vladimir Putin issued a decree Monday granting Russian citizenship to 35 Ukrainian men of military age, state news agency Interfax reported.

In total, the decree cleared the way for more than 50 individuals to receive Russian citizenship, 35 of them men born in Ukraine between 1953 and 1984. In Ukraine, men between the ages of 18 and 65 can be recruited to join the military.

Among the others were immigrants from Armenia, Belgium, Afghanistan, Moldova, Germany, Vietnam and Turkmenistan, RIA Novosti reported.

On Jan. 28, 2015, the Federal Migration Service extended the maximum period in which Ukrainian citizens could remain on Russian Federation territory to ninety days on "humanitarian grounds."

That decision came two days after President Putin had announced to "Gorny" University students in St. Petersburg that he was considering such an extension for Ukrainians, particularly for males of conscription age. He explained that Ukrainians were right in attempting to flee the fighting in Ukraine, where they were regarded as nothing more than "cannon fodder."

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