"Leaders" of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" ("DPR") say the first group of residents have crossed the border with Russia to obtain Russian citizenship.
"Today is the first trip. Later, it is planned to deliver citizens to the territory of the Russian Federation almost every day according to the lists we are provided with," the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports with reference to "head of the DPR Migration Service" Vladimir Krasnoshchek.
Thirty-four people reportedly went to get Russian passports.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 24 signed a decree on the expedited procedure for the issue of Russian passports to residents of temporarily occupied Donbas. On April 27, Putin said Russia could simplify the procedure for granting Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians – not only to those who reside in Russia-occupied districts in the east of Ukraine.
On April 29, a center opened in the town of Novoshakhtinsk in Rostov oblast offering services for issuing Russian passports to residents of Russia-occupied districts in Ukraine's Luhansk region. On April 30, a similar center opened in Rostov oblast's village of Pokrovskoye to service residents of the occupied Donetsk region.
On May 8, Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers outlawed Russian passports issued to Ukrainian citizens residing in Russia-occupied areas in Ukraine, namely Luhansk and Donetsk regions.