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Putin Orders Free Land Handouts for Ukraine War Veterans

Sergei Savostyanov / TASS

Regional authorities in Russia have been tasked with distributing free plots of land to veterans of Moscow’s war against Ukraine, according to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Those eligible to receive land include combat veterans, as well as military personnel, volunteer fighters, and employees of the Russian National Guard who have been awarded the title of Hero of Russia or who have received other merit-based awards during their service.

The right to free land will also be granted to family members of decorated military personnel and those who died from their injuries or illnesses sustained on the frontlines.  

Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as Sevastopol in annexed Crimea, are excluded from the decree and must instead develop their own alternative social support measures for war veterans. 

In December, Putin signed a similar decree for the Moscow region and annexed Crimea, the latter of which allocated some 700 plots of land for military personnel.

"The plots will be of equal value and provided with the necessary infrastructure. Communications and engineering networks will be gradually established... The plots will be located near the sea on the western coast of Crimea," the Russian-installed head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said back in March.

Since Moscow launched its invasion of neighboring Ukraine, the Russian authorities have sought to offer a number of incentives to encourage Russians to sign up to fight in the war.

Last year, all Russian soldiers serving in Ukraine were granted veteran status, which allows them to receive monthly cash payments, tax benefits, free travel and priority medical services.

Similarly, in December, Putin extended a preferential car loan program for military service members.

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