Russia Not Imposing Citizenship on Donbas Residents - Nebenzia

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"The timing. shows Russia's intention to further destabilise Ukraine and to exacerbate the conflict".

Also on Wednesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin called on residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics (DPR and LPR) to refrain from obtaining Russian passports after Putin issued the decree to simplify procedure for acquiring Russian citizenship.

Russian Federation also annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

People living in the separatist regions will now be entitled to receive a Russian passport within three months of applying for one.

The Ukrainian ambassador also claimed that "under Soviet domination" Ukraine was colonized by "Russian settlers" and that the current conflict was reminiscent of the 1939 Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland, over which the USSR was expelled from the League of Nations.

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According to USA officials, the decision could hurt Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"This is an attempt to justify and legitimize Russia's military presence in the occupied part of the Ukrainian Donbass", Poroshenko said in a video statement, referring to the Kremlin-backed separatist areas. "But we can not do this unilaterally", he told journalists following his summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Vladivostok. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

He said the weekend election, in which Zelensky beat incumbent Poroshenko with 73 percent of the vote, showed the "complete failure" of Poroshenko's policies.

The new president of Ukraine will be a man best known for playing the president of Ukraine in a popular television series, according to early tallies of votes from Monday's election. The move was accomplished on the very day Ukraine confirmed comedian Volodymyr Zelensky as the victor in Ukraine's recent presidential election, overturning the rule of Putin's nemesis, oligarch Petro Poroshenko.

"Together we are preparing for victory in the next parliamentary elections, together we will get back into the presidential office in the next presidential elections, " Poroshenko told hundreds of supporters in Kiev on Tuesday.