President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a decree simplifying the process for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of the southern Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhia and Kherson.
The southern part of Kherson is completely under the control of Russian troops, while the southeastern part of Zaporizhzhya is partially controlled by Moscow.
Moscow and pro-Moscow officials say both regions could be part of Russia.
The official order, issued Wednesday, is based on a 2019 decree allowing residents of the isolated regions of eastern Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, to follow the same fast-track approach.
Applicants do not have to live in Russia, provide proof of adequate funding or pass a Russian language test.
Hundreds of thousands of residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine have already received Russian passports.
On Monday, Kherson authorities introduced the Ukrainian hryvnia as well as the ruble as the official currency. On Thursday, officials installed by Moscow announced similar measurements in parts of the Zaporizhia region.
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