Date: April 24, 2019
Location: Donetsk and Luhansk oblast, occupied territories of Ukraine
Russian passports mass distribution starts in occupied eastern Ukraine as President Vladimir Putin has signed on April 24, 2019 a decree, simplifying the procedure to grant Russian citizenship to Ukrainians living in Russian-occupied Donbass – Luhansk and Donetsk oblast of eastern Ukraine.
Putin started to do what Russia previously did in Moldova’s Transnistria, in Tchechnia – Itchkeria, Georgia’s South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Ukraine’s Crimea – to mass distribute Russian passports. Only in all these previous cases Russia first distributed passports, and then invaded “to protect Russian citizens” there.
In case of Ukraine it’s opposite, because Russia has already invaded in 2014 and occupied eastern Ukraine. At that time Putin explained Russian invasion into Ukraine by “necessity to protect Russian speakers”. We only can guess now what he will do now to “protest Russian citizens”.
To remind Vladimir Putin signed this decree only three days after final round of Ukraine’s Presidential elections 2019. Russia understands, that after Ukrainians have voted for professional comic artist and video producer Vladimir Zelensky, Ukraine might be submerged into chaos, and thus it is perfect time to advance and to annex more Ukrainian territory.
The United Nations Security Council gathered next day on April 25 and condemned this yet another Russia’s move towards annexation of more Ukraine’s territory.
The illegal ‘passportization’ of Ukrainian citizens means that the Kremlin recognizes its occupation of Ukrainian territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions and in fact makes another step to the annexation of this occupied territory. By this decision, Russia once again debunks its own propaganda narrative that this is a so-called ‘internal conflict’ or ‘civil war’ in Ukraine.