Donetsk, Dec 22 — DAN. Some 500,000 Russian passports have been issued to Donetsk People’s Republic residents since 2019, the DPR Interior Ministry’s Migration Service told the Donetsk News Agency on Thursday.

“Overall, 496,500 Russian passports have been issued to DPR residents, including 42,000 passports after September 30, ” the Migration Service said.

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 and 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 fees for the issue of passport and foreign travel passport.*jk