Ombudsman advises Ukrainians to accept Russian passports under occupation: This is a matter of survival

Dmytro Lubinets, Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, advises Ukrainians in the occupied territories to either take Russian passports in order to survive, or flee the occupied territory in any way they can.

Source: Lubinets on the national joint 24/7 newscast

Details: The ombudsman expressed the opinion that the decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which permits the deportation of Ukrainians who do not accept Russian passports from occupied territories, "is not aimed at deporting Ukrainians", but at legalising forced passportisation.

Quote from Lubinets: "In fact, I think that all Ukrainian citizens who refuse a Russian passport will simply be arrested. And this will form a separate category of civilian hostages that the Russian Federation will hold captive, either imprisoned on its territory or in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine.…

I would advise you to accept a Russian passport and make the decision for yourself to survive. This is the most important thing. We understand that this is happening under pressure, under physical pressure. So take your passport, survive, and wait for us to liberate this territory. After that, the relevant law is now being worked out, those citizens will be able to officially abandon this passport and return to normal life.

Or make a decision for yourself and leave your territory in any way possible, through Ukrainian territory or that of other countries, but just leave. We understand that it has become a matter of survival in your territory."

More details: Lubinets stressed that Ukraine does not deem accepting a Russian passport to be "an element of the commission of a crime by our citizens."

"We have heard people saying that anyone who has accepted a Russian passport in the temporarily occupied territory, we should apply some levers of influence to them, possibly even of a criminal nature. I am absolutely against that. Our citizens do this in order to survive. It is another matter if someone takes part in this directly, organises this process," he said.

Background: Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has signed into law a decree allowing residents of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine who have not obtained Russian citizenship to be deported.

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