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Putin signs order expediting Russian citizenship process for Ukrainians who lived in Crimea and Donbas before spring 2014

Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed an order allowing citizens of Ukraine and stateless individuals to apply for Russian citizenship on an expedited basis if they were born in the Crimea and lived there before Russia annexed the peninsula on March 18, 2014. The order also applies to individuals who were deported from the Crimea in the Soviet era or who lived in “certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts” before April 2014 but now have the documentation necessary to live in Russia.

Citizens of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria who were born on the territory of the Russian SFSR had had Soviet citizenship may now also apply for Russian passports on an expedited basis, as can their relatives. Expedited consideration for Russian citizenship is officially required to take no longer than three months.

This latest order follows another issued April 24 that granted current residents of Ukraine’s breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions a fast track toward Russian citizenship.

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