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Moscow has issued 80,000 passports since it “annexed” 4 Ukrainian regions

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Yesterday, Russia announced that it had issued passports to more than 80,000 people in four regions of Ukraine, which Moscow confirms that it has annexed to its territory.

“Since the annexation of the four regions to the Russian Federation, and pursuant to the law, more than 80,000 people have obtained a passport as citizens of the Russian Federation,” the Russian Interior Ministry said, according to local news agencies.

The international community condemned these annexations, which Moscow approved in early October, but did not recognize. Since the announcement of this annexation, Russian forces have withdrawn from some of these lands, including from the city of Kherson, the capital of the region of the same name.

Even before the start of the war on February 24, Moscow had distributed hundreds of thousands of Russian passports to separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. After the war began, the Kremlin facilitated the process for Ukrainians to obtain Russian citizenship.