All Ukrainians can now apply for fast-track Russian citizenship, according to a decree signed Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Previously, this option had been open only to residents of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as residents of the southern Zaporizhzhia and the Kherson regions, which are largely under Russian control.
It was unclear how many would apply for Russian citizenship, but between 2019 — when the offer was made available to residents of Donetsk and Luhansk — and 2022, about 18% of the population in rebel-held areas of Ukraine received Russian passports.
In May, the program was expanded to residents of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.
Ukrainian officials have yet to comment on Putin’s decree.