Ukraine offers fast-track citizenship to politically persecuted Russians

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on July 11, 2019 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) speaking during a press conference at palazzo Chigi in Rome on July 4, 2019. And Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky during a press conference at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris on June 17, 2019 in Paris. - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's new president Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the conflict in eastern Ukraine in their first ever telephone conversation, the Kremlin said on July 11, 2019. (Photos by Tiziana FABI and ludovic MARIN / AFP)

A decree has been issued by the president of the Ukraine that will make it easier for Russians facing political persecution to become citizens of Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy ordered Ukraine’s government to submit a Bill to Parliament that also streamlined the citizenship process for foreigners who had fought for the country or aided against Russian aggression towards Ukraine.

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Mr Zelenskiy said that it was his ambition to make Ukraine “an example of democracy to post-Soviet states” and “to give protection, refuge and Ukrainian citizenship to all those who fight for freedom . . . And first and foremost to Russians, who today suffer most of all.”

The decree comes after over 2000 people were arrested during rallies protesting Vladimir Putin’s 20-year rule, with Russian police being the only side showing violence and beating protesters. Actions that a Kremlin spokesman described as “absolutely justified.”

-Daniel Potter