The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed a decree extending the list of people who can apply for Ukrainian citizenship. These now include non-Ukrainian and stateless people who fought in the war against Russia-led separatists in Ukraine's occupied Donbas region and Russians who face prosecution in their country.
The decision was made "to ensure the protection of human and citizen's rights and freedoms," the decree reads.
This follows Zelenskyy's post-election promise to provide all the people"suffering from authoritarian and corrupt regimes," namely Russians, with Ukrainian citizenship. Zelenskyy promised this in response to Vladimir Putin's April 24 statement on easing the Russian citizenship issuance for the residents of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics.”
Zelenskyy already granted Ukrainian citizenship to 14 foreigners on June 28. Among them was Yulia Tolopa, a Russian native who fought in the Donbas war. On July 18, Zelensky granted citizenship to nine other foreigners who fought in the Donbas.