Putin fast-track more Russian passports – Michael West

Putin fast-track more Russian passports – Michael West

The Russian passport move appears to be part of Putin’s political influence strategy, which has also involved the introduction of the Russian rouble in occupied territory in Ukraine and could eventually result in the annexation of more Ukrainian territory into the Russian Federation. Russia already annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea in 2014.

The Russian president set the stage for such moves even before Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, writing an essay last summer claiming that Russians and Ukrainians are one people and attempting to diminish the legitimacy of Ukraine as an independent nation. Reports have surfaced of Russian authorities confiscating Ukrainian passports from some citizens.

The passport announcement came hours after Russian shelling of Ukraine’s second-largest city on Monday killed at least six people and injured 31, prosecutors and local officials said. Russian troops launched three missile strikes on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in an attack one official described as “absolute terrorism.”

Putin fast-track more Russian passports – Michael West

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