Putin Accused of Fast-Tracking Russian Citizenship for Abducted Ukrainian Kids

Vladyslav Havrylov - Atlantic Council

Ukrainian officials have condemned a new decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in early 2024 simplifying the process of conferring Russian citizenship on Ukrainian children abducted from wartime Ukraine.

Issued on January 4, 2024, the citizenship decree is officially designed to ease the process of granting Russian citizenship to foreign nationals and stateless persons. Officials in Kyiv highlighted one particularly contentious section indicating that orphaned Ukrainian children or those deprived of parental guardianship can be fast-tracked to Russian citizenship via presidential decision or following a request from a hosting institution.

Ukraine’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, has accused Moscow of implementing the new citizenship regulations so children abducted from Ukraine to Russia would no longer be regarded as Ukrainians. In an official appeal to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry claimed the decree served as further proof of Russia’s crimes against Ukraine, including “the forcible assimilation of Ukrainian children.”