President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Wednesday making it easier for inhabitants of the southern Ukrainian districts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson to obtain a Russian passport.
Russian soldiers have complete control of Kherson’s southern sector, while Moscow only has partial control of Zaporizhzhia’s southeastern portion.
Both territories could become part of Russia, according to Moscow and pro-Moscow politicians.
The formal directive came after a 2019 edict that permitted inhabitants of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, eastern Ukraine’s separatist republics, to use the same fast-track system.
It is not necessary for applicants to have lived in Russia, to show proof of sufficient cash, or to pass a Russian language test.
Hundreds of thousands of people in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas of Ukraine have already gotten Russian passports.
Kherson officials made the ruble the official currency alongside the Ukrainian hryvnia on Monday. Moscow-installed officials announced the same measure in sections of the Zaporizhzhia region last week Thursday.