Ukraine recognised that Russia is protecting the residents of Donbas. The country’s leadership said that Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to ease the procedure for obtaining Russian passports for residents of Donbas in order to be able to protect the citizens of his country.
The news in the Russian media appeared against the backdrop of a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin dated May 1 about the simplified granting of Russian citizenship to residents of the occupied territories of Ukraine - those who lived in Crimea before annexation, but left the peninsula after the Russian seizure, as well as those who now live in areas controlled by militants, so called "LNR" and "DNR".
Claims that Ukraine admitted Russia is protecting residents are not true. Ukraine did not make such statements. On the contrary, after the signing of the Russian decree in Kyiv said that Putin had taken such measures in order to destabilise the situation in Donbas, legalize the "LNR" and "DNR" militants, and protect them from the Ukrainian court after the end of the war and the de-occupation of the Ukrainian territories.
The Ukrainian government emphasises that people who are citizens of Ukraine and take part in illegal military formations of Donbas are collaborators. The Kremlin will issue passports primarily to its mercenaries. Russia took this step to legalise its aggression against Ukraine under the pretext that the Kremlin allegedly “protects its citizens” in the territories of the groups.