Natalia Poklonskaya's Relationship With Ukrainian Citizenship: It's Complicated
20 October, 2017

Russian parliamentarian and former Prosecutor General of Russian-occupied Crimea, Natalia Poklonskaya, believes she is no longer a Ukrainian citizen because Ukraine's ex-president Viktor Yanukovych signed the “appropriate decree” to cancel her citizenship – a month after he fled Ukraine and was ousted by the Ukrainian parliament.

“He was in [Russian city] Rostov and remained to be the legitimate president,” Poklonskaya said to Russia’s news site RBK on October 20, adding that the procedure happened on March 21, 2014.

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“According to the established order, I ceased being a Ukrainian citizen and am now a Russian citizen,” she said.

In fact, Yanukovych was impeached by Verkhovna Rada on February 22, 2014 by a 328-0 vote after reports appeared that he fled Ukraine for Russia. He is wanted in Ukraine in connection with over a 100 killings at the end of the Euromaidan revolution.

Poklonskaya’s comments come hours after Ukrainian news site Ukrainska Pravda published a letter from the Ukrainian Presidential Administration that made it clear that none of the authorized bodies have requested the administration to strip Poklonskaya of her Ukrainian citizenship.

According to the law on citizenship, the process of stripping someone of their Ukrainian citizenship can only begin at the recommendation of the “State Migration Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic representatives and consular offices,” the letter says.

The Presidential Administration noted however that it had appealed to the Migration Service and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is awaiting a response.  

After taking an active role in Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, Poklonskaya was appointed Prosecutor General of Crimea in May 2014. In this role, she oversaw the persecution of numerous Crimean Tatar and pro-Ukrainian activists. She was then elected to the Russian State Duma in 2016.  

READ MORE: How Annexation Made Crimea’s Self-Proclaimed Government Rich

/By Maria Romanenko and Sofia Fedeczko