Donetsk, Feb 7 — DAN. The number of Russian passports issued to Donetsk People’s Republic residents since 2019 has exceeded 550,000, the DPR Interior Ministry’s Migration Service told the Donetsk News Agency.

“Overall, 553,000 Russian passports have been issued since 2019, including 103,000 passports since September 30, 2022, ” the Migration Service said.

The DPR currently operates 34 centers where residents can apply for Russian citizenship. On January 24, the Republic reportedly had 32 such centers.

Earlier, the Migration Service told DAN that all its offices would begin to accept Russian passport application documents by March. The first offices opened on October 20.

On April 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree easing Russian citizenship rules for residents of the Donbass Republics. Citizens of the DPR, Ukraine or stateless persons who permanently resided in the region as of the day of the DPR’s accession to Russia, or permanent residents who moved to other Russian regions automatically acquire Russian citizenship on the condition of taking the oath. On November 10, the Russian parliament exempted the residents of the new regions from paying passport and foreign travel passport fees.*jk