Issuance Of Russian Passports To Donbas Residents Starts In Russia's Rostov - Official

Issuance of Russian Passports to Donbas Residents Starts in Russia's Rostov - Official

The issuance of Russian passports to Donbas residents started in the Russian southern Rostov region on the border with Ukraine, Konstantin Rozin, the head of the press service of the regional branch of the Russian Interior Ministry, told Sputnik on Friday

ROSTOV-ON-DON/NOVOSHAKHTINSK (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th June, 2019) - The issuance of Russian passports to Donbas residents started in the Russian southern Rostov region on the border with Ukraine, Konstantin Rozin, the head of the press service of the regional branch of the Russian Interior Ministry, told Sputnik on Friday.

In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order, which stated that residents from some districts of Donbas were entitled "to a fast-track procedure," when applying for Russian citizenship on humanitarian grounds.

"The issuance of Russian passports to residents of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) has begun. At the same time, the first passports were also issued to residents of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in [the city of] Novoshakhtinsk," Rozin said.

The center that issues Russian passports for DPR residents was opened in the village of Pokrovskoye, Rostov Region.

A similar center was opened in the city of Novoshakhtinsk in the Rostov region for LPR residents.

According to local police officials, the Rostov region received at least 12,000 applications for Russian citizenship from Donbas residents. About 1,200 of them have already been approved.

Donbas, an area with a predominantly Russian-speaking population, has been engulfed in conflict since 2014. Back then, the Ukrainian authorities unleashed a military operation against the self-proclaimed republics in the region that refused to recognize the new government in Kiev, which came to power after what they considered to be a coup.

In February this year, UN figures showed that over 3,000 civilians have been killed and more than 9,000 injured since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

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