Support The Moscow Times!

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy Simplifies Citizenship Process for ‘Persecuted’ Russians

Volodymyr Zelenskiy president.gov.ua

Ukraine’s new president has made it easier for Russians facing “political persecution” to become Ukrainian citizens in an ongoing passport battle between the countries.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy last month ordered an overhaul of the process for granting Ukrainian citizenship in response to Russia expanding the number of Ukrainians who can apply for fast-track Russian passports. Russia’s expansion amended President Vladimir Putin’s earlier decree to simplify citizenship procedures for residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine. 

A new decree published on the Ukrainian presidential administration’s website Tuesday simplifies the Ukrainian citizenship process for “Russian citizens who have been persecuted for political beliefs.”

Zelenskiy also simplified the naturalization process for those who “took measures to ensure Ukraine’s national security and defense.” 

In July, Zelenskiy offered fast-track passports to foreigners who suffer from human rights violations and constraints on freedom in their home countries, as well as ethnic Ukrainians "from friendly powers" willing to help Ukraine's development.

Putin had earlier expanded the list of people eligible for fast-track passports by adding Ukrainians who once lived in Ukraine's Crimea region before it was annexed by Russia in 2014.

Kiev has been locked in a five-year conflict with pro-Russian separatists that has killed 13,000 people.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.