Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree that simplifies the stay and work of hundreds of thousands of people who have left Ukraine for Russia since the Kremlin’s military intervention.
According to these new “temporary measures”, published over the weekend Saturday, Ukrainian passport holders, as well as residents of the occupied pro-Russian separatist territories of Donetsk and Lugansk in southeastern Ukraine, will be able to stay in Russia “without limitation or deadlines”.
Until now, they could only officially stay in Russia for 90 days in a 180-day period. For longer stays, it was necessary to obtain a work permit or special authorisation.
The persons concerned now have “the right to carry out a professional activity in Russia without a work permit”, specifies the decree.
However, to take advantage of this measure, they will have to submit to a fingerprinting, photo ID, and drug and infectious disease screening.
The text also prohibits the expulsion from Russia of Ukrainian citizens, apart from those released from prison or deemed to threaten the security of Russia.
According to Moscow, 3.6 million people, including 587,000 children, have fled Ukraine for Russia since the Kremlin’s large-scale offensive against Kyiv in late February.
The Russian authorities encourage these trips and have opened accommodation centres throughout the country.
At the same time, Ukraine has accused the Kremlin of forcefully moving Ukrainians from eastern and southern parts of the country and resettling them across Russia, often to its far-away regions.
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