Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday that would simplify the process of obtaining Russian citizenship for all Ukrainian citizens.
Previous versions of the decree applied to residents in the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), as well as the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine.
The decree establishes that "citizens of Ukraine, Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) or Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and people without citizenship permanently living in DPR, LPR or Ukraine […] are entitled to appeal for admission to citizenship of the Russian Federation via simplified procedure in accordance with the […] law ‘On citizenship of the Russian Federation'," the decree says.
What the simplified process allows: Individuals can apply for Russian citizenship without fulfilling several requirements, including living in Russia for five years, having a source of income and undergoing a Russian language examination.
The decree also says that "military service, service in national security or law enforcement agencies of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic cannot be considered a reason for denying Russian citizenship."
Simplified Russian citizenship applications were initially introduced by decree in 2019 for DPR and LPR residents. In May of this year, the decree was expanded to the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. And on Monday, the decree was expanded to all citizens of Ukraine who wish to obtain Russian citizenship.