Donetsk, Jan 10 – DAN. As many as 150,000 people have received Donetsk People’s Republic passports since March 2016, head of the Immigration Service of the Interior Ministry Vladimir Krasnoscheka told DAN.

“As of 1 January, DPR Interior Ministry’s Migration Service has issued 150,451 DPR passports,” Krasnoscheka said.

He added that 957 foreigners from 30 countries received DPR passports, including Russians, US citizens, Germans, Italians, Serbs and Finns.

Last year, 111 thousand people received DPR passports.

DPR began issuing its passports on March 16, 2016. The first 20 DPR residents received IDs from Zakharcheno. The authorities said at the time that priority was given to those who turned 16, 25 and 45 years old and to those who lost Ukrainian passports. Large-scale issuance of DPR passports was announced later, on June 21.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing identification documents issued by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics on February 19, 2017.

The decree was signed “to protect human rights and freedoms in accordance with the widely recognized principles of international humanitarian law” and to remain in force “for the period until the political settlement of the situation is achieved” on the basis of the Minsk Agreements. *ot