Vladimir Putin signed an executive order on Saturday officially recognizing identification documents issued by the two breakaway “republics” in eastern Ukraine.
In addition to passports, the Russian Federation will recognize education documents, certificates recording births, deaths, marriages, and divorces, and automobile registrations.
Now, using documents issued by the self-declared “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, individuals will be able to enter Russia.
According to the executive order, which Putin says he signed “to protect human rights and freedoms” in accordance with “the widely recognized principles of international humanitarian law,” Russia is only recognizing the rebel republics’ documents temporarily, until the conflict in eastern Ukraine is resolved.
This decision follows reports earlier this month by the RBC news agency that Russian border authorities were already unofficially accepting identification papers issued by Ukraine’s breakaway republics.