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U.S. MMA Fighter Jeff Monson Awarded Passport for Breakaway 'Luhansk Republic'

Jeff Monson Moskva News Agency

Former wrestling world champion Jeff Monson has become the first American to receive citizenship for the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic.

The mixed-martial arts (MMA) fighter announced the news on Twitter with a picture of his new Luhansk passport.

Monson visited the region in June to discuss opening a children's sports school, the RIA Novosti news outlet reported at the time.

“I hope that the school can be a small springboard for these children and will take their minds off the war,” Monson said.

U.S.-born Monson gained Russian citizenship in 2015 and has fought in the ring under the Russian flag. He has previously claimed “feeling at home” in the country, and has spoken of his desire to join the Russian Communist Party.

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