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UK intel: Russia threatens to deport Ukrainians without Russian passports from occupied areas

Russia forcing Ukrainian residents in occupied areas to accept Russian citizenship or face deportation, per UK intelligence.
Ukraine claims milestone in top UN Court, but Russia left unpunished
Ukrainian city of Luhansk, occupied by Russia. Photo: TASS
UK intel: Russia threatens to deport Ukrainians without Russian passports from occupied areas

Russia is aggressively Russifying occupied Ukrainian territories by compelling residents to obtain Russian passports, threatening deportation for non-compliance, and integrating the regions into its military structure, according to the British Defense Ministry’s intelligence update.
Russia says about 2.8 million residents in Ukraine’s temporarily occupied territories are now Russian passport holders, while Moscow has made access to services in these regions, including social services and healthcare, conditional on the receipt of Russian passports, the British Defense Ministry says.

The Ministry wrote:

  • According to the Russian Interior Ministry there are about 2.8 million residents in the temporarily controlled territories (TCT) of Ukraine who are now Russian passport holders. Russia makes access to services in these regions, including social services and healthcare, conditional on the receipt of Russian passports.
  • In April 2023 Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree stating that residents of the TCT who refuse Russian passports will become foreign citizens or stateless persons. Such persons have the right to live in the TCT only until 1 July 2024.
  • There is a realistic possibility that any individuals in the TCT after this date who do not have a Russian passport will be deported or face detention. Recent rhetoric from the deputy chair of Russia’s National Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, indicates individuals might be deported to remote parts of Russia.
  • The Kremlin is pursuing a relentless Russification policy in the TCT. Another decree on military districts issued on 26 February 2024 states that the TCT will now become part of the Russian Southern Military District. The Kremlin is seeking to make the integration of the TCT into the Russian Federation irreversible.

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