Ukraine: ‘forced citizenship’ in Russian-held territory


Russia has launched a systematic effort to force residents of occupied areas of Ukraine to accept Russian citizenship as part of its program of consolidating authority, according to a new report. Residents of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya oblasts are subjected to threats, intimidation, restrictions on humanitarian aid and basic necessities, and possible detention or deportationā€”all designed to force them to become Russian citizens. These efforts parallel the “passportization” campaign that Russia has executed in Crimea and areas of Donetsk and Luhansk since 2014. Based on a comprehensive review of open source material, Yale Humanitarian Research Lab (HRL)Ā has identified the laws and tactics used to make it impossible for residents to survive in their homes unless they accept Russian citizenship. These laws and tactics violate international law, including the prohibition on discrimination against people living under occupation based on nationality, and forcing people to declare allegiance to an occupying power, both illegal under the Hague Convention and the Geneva Conventions. (Conflict Observatory)

See our last reports on RussianĀ annexation of Ukrainian territory,Ā and war crimes.

Map: PCL

  1. Ukraine condemns Russia plan for elections in occupied territory

    The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Dec. 9 the Russian Federationā€™s plans to hold presidential elections on occupied Ukrainian territory early next year, following the decision taken by Russian lawmakers the previous day.

    Russian authorities, in addition to setting a date for the presidential election, also announced that they plan to arrange voting in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. These are territories Moscow illegally annexed from Ukraine last year, eight months into the ongoing war between the sovereign countries. (Jurist)