Moscow to start distributing Russian passports in the occupied Donbas

Russian passport


Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia, War in the Donbas

Even as Vladimir Putin decreed that Moscow recognizes documents issued by its clients the “Donetsk Peoples Republic” and the “Luhansk Peoples Republic,” Russian officials in at least seven places in the Donbas are reported to start handing out Russian passports, a repetition of what Moscow did in South Ossetia in 2008.

The two steps are in fact interrelated, Russian journalists Aleksandr Artishchenko and Lidiya Grigoryeva of the portal Versia suggest. They mean that residents of the “DNR” and “LNR” can now take Russian citizenship on the basis of their own documents rather than on those of Ukraine, thus easing and accelerating the process.

And that in turn, the two authors say, suggests the following three more important things:

  • First, it is an indication that Moscow may very well have had enough with negotiating about the fate of the Donbas and is prepared to live with or at least threaten to live with a frozen conflict there for a long time.
  • Second, it is a statement of contempt about Western sanctions, an indication to the world that Moscow is no longer impressed by them or affected by them in such a profound way that there is any chance that it will change its policy in Ukraine no matter how long they remain in place.
  • And third, it creates a situation in which Moscow can, as it has in South Ossetia, gradually move toward annexation, something that Artishchenko and Grigoryeva say there is ever more support for in Russia. They say that there will be demonstrations in support of that across Russia next weekend.

The Russian journalists add that one need not be “a prophet to predict what is going to follow:” in the immediate future, people behind the borders of the “LNR” and “DNR” too will want these passports because having them will confer real advantages whatever the future may bring, in their opinion.

And one more thing is “not excluded,” the two say. Soon it will be difficult for those who have only a Ukrainian passport to work in Russia, while those with “DNR” and “LNR” passports will find it quite easy. That too will have an impact on Ukraine and work to Moscow’s benefit, they argue.



Edited by: A. N.

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  • Alex George

    I take some of the Russian commentators with a grain of salt. Putin and his cronies are concerned about sanctions . They desperately want them lifted.

    I think Putin is just trying to double-down in order to show his determination, now that USA and EU lawmakers have turned out to be so vehemently opposed to letting Russia off the hook, and Trump himself has said Russia must give up Crimea. So Putin plays tough guy and says, “Fine, you thought I wouldn’t annex Donbass and Crimea as part of Russia, well gues what, I WILL!!!”.

    But he is miscalculating yet again – after all, why should such a move make any difference to the strategy of Ukraine or of the West? It remains the same – hold the line in Donbass, maintain sanctions to cripple the Russian economy, and build up Ukraine. Putin can statrt issuing passports, but it doesn’t change the fact that he won’t get sanctions lifted until he gets out of Donbass and Crimea. And the longer he stays in Ukraine, the longer his capacity to create mischief anywhere else will be severely restricted.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      The dwarf can’t afford supporting the so-called LNR and DNR. If he annexes the occupied territory, he will have to rebuild it without any western aid whatsoever. The economy is shattered, thanks to the devastation his aggression caused.
      Akhmetov and Pinchuk, plus other oligarchs, will suffer severe losses and will actually lose influence in Kyiv. That’s not in the dwarf’s interest if he wants to undermine the Ukraine.
      For Kyiv matters are simplified somewhat. When the occupied territory is liberated, the smart thing to do is to declare all with a Dwarfstanian passport undesirable aliens and expel them. Since Ukrainian law does not permit a dual nationality, accepting a Dwarfstanian passport means automatic loss of Ukrainian citizenship. And only Ukrainian citizens will be allowed to vote in the elections.
      But hey, if the dwarf wants to be stupid, let him annex the so-called LNR and DNR by all means. Nobody will recognise the annexation apart from the usual loons- Mugabe, Kim Jong-un, Maduro, Morales, Ortega and Raul Castro.

      • Czech Mate

        shhhh, the trolls are listening but I’m too seeing Putler in a deep hole and digging deeper :-)

      • Miroslav Bogunovski

        But even Mugabe is 1 too much for the recognicion because it always starts as small nubers and grows higher.

        • Alex George

          Oh please – where do you see that trend in regard to Russia’s annexation of Crimea?

          Don’t you think after two years the Kremlin would have got someone extra, besides the standard pariah parade of North Korea, Zimbabwe etc?

      • veth

        The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has conducted more than 20 first searches at households of Ukrainian citizens, who are in close contact with representatives of the Russian special services.

        “Unfortunately, we know there is a vast number of people in Ukraine, who are holding key positions and those who are not holding such positions, they are in a very close contact for some reason […] some of them had 150 contacts each with this Moscow’s agent in a short period of time. More than 20 searches were held yesterday, and we already have the first results,” Hrytsak said during a joint briefing with the Prosecutor General of Ukraine

    • Miroslav Bogunovski

      The text seems to say that sanctions are not concerned with Putin. And it seem to be Ukrainian newsmen saying.

      • Alex George

        You need to read the article again. It says that Russian journalists are claiming that Putin is not worried by the sanctions. I don’t think anyone outside Kremlin media takes that seriously. Putin spent millions on trying to influence Trump, Flynn, Manafort and others, precisely in order to get sanctions lifted.

        He should look on the bright side: Trump has confirmed that sanctions will be lifted – when Russia gets out of Crimea.

    • RedSquareMaidan

      In response, Ukraine should start a visa regime with the Russia so that the cancer does not easily enter her borders.

      • Rafael Hernandez

        The cancer is in the rada

        • RedSquareMaidan

          Much less now that Yanukobytch and his corrupt cronies are back home in mafia ruSSia.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            True, but there’s still Tihipko and his Opposition Party (basically the Party of Regions with a new name) to be eradicated.

  • Miroslav Bogunovski

    There are 5 million Ukrainias workings in Russia. In Bosnian news newsmens say Russia will start introducing working visas for Ukrainians, mainly for it’s far east terrtorys and start throwing out those not having DPR passport partly to make way for it’s own workers, making 500000 new workplaces. It mays be good for Russia, but bad for Ukraine. It can only make soldiers for canons with new 5000000 peoples.
    Putin is trying to kolapse Ukrainian economy. And he mays want to make Ossetia situalion like.

    • Alex George

      How would that be bad for Ukraine? Kremlin supporters often crow about how Ukraine is losing population, but they can’t have it both ways. If Ukrainians are forced out of Russia then Ukraine won’t have a problem with population, will it?

      I agree that Putin has tried to “collapse the Ukrainian economy”, but the problem for him is that most of his measures can only be done once. Russia’s share of Ukraine’s trade is still quite large, but much smaller than it was even three years ago. And each time it shrinks, Russia’s capacity to hurt the Ukrainian economy grows less.

      “It can only make soldiers for canons with new 5000000 peoples.”

      I think you mean they would be “cannon fodder”. But Ukraine doesn’t need to use them. Already, Ukraine uses entirely contract soldiers (i.e. volunteers) on the front line, unlike Russia. Conscripts serve away from the front line, and then are brought back every year for refresher training. In other words, they form a trained reserve. 5 million extra ukrainians from Russia are irrelevant to this.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      There’s the small matter of whether the dwarf can actually replace those Ukrainians in the first place. Replacing a postman is easy enough as that job doesn’t require any real skills, but a highly-qualified engineer is quite another. Does the dwarf have Dwarfstanians to replace any highly-qualified Ukrainians? And will those Dwarfstanians be willing to move from, say, St. Petersburg to, say, Khabarovsk to fill the vacancy? Will the wives agree to such a move? And will such a transfer create a vacancy elsewhere?
      The dwarf can throw out the Ukrainians, but if the end result is damaging Dwarfstan’s already shaky economy he’s only shooting himself in the foot.

  • veth

    Russia out of SWIFT, UN-COUNCIL

  • veth
  • Turtler

    Greaaaaaat….. we’ve seen this before.

    Step 1: Prop up “separatist” groups- whether vaguely home grown like in South Ossetia or almost completely propped up like in Crimea- that can be armed and fight the host government.

    Step 2: Offer to “mediate” a peace to the conflict that would not have been at this fever pitch without Kremlin interference.

    Step 3: Start dishing out Russian passports and citizenship like candy to basically anybody in the “separatist” regions that want it.

    Step 4: -and this is absolutely crucial- Get the flying monkeys in the region to provoke a fight by attacking government troops and causing inevitable conflict.

    Step 5: Complain about attacks on “Russian Citizens” and send the army in.

    Tread carefully, I fear Putin’s trying to escalate this so he can intervene directly.

    • Alex George

      Its difficult to see what more he can do.

      I agree he might have some sort of plan like that.

      But then, this might also be to enable ardent separatists to flee to Russia easily, i.e Kremlin knows it can’t afford to keep forces in the Donbass much longer.

      If things are that close to disaster then Putin will give up Donbass rather than risk losing Crimea.

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        He’s going to lose both Donbas and Crimea anyway.

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Belarus wil not allow holders of passports of the so-called LNR and DNR into the country:

    Looks like the only country that will recognise these documents is Dwarfstan. Oh, and the “independent” states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia of course.