Source: www.foxnews.com : 2022-07-11 15:50:50 : Ronn Blitzer
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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday expanded a program that swiftly grants Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians.
Prior to Putin signing the decree, the speedy citizenship process was only available to those in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions – together known as Donbas – and the Russian-controlled southern Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.
From the time the program began in 2019 in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, more than 720,000 people living there have obtained Russian passports. It extended to the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson areas in May of this year, in the midst of Russia’s invasion.
The expanded offer comes at a time when Russia has been bombarding Ukraine, with the city of Kharkiv getting blasted by three missile strikes in what a local official told the Associated Press was “absolute terrorism.”
“Only civilian structures — a shopping center and houses of peaceful Kharkiv residents — came under the fire of the Russians. Several shells hit the yards of private houses. Garages and cars were also destroyed, several fires broke out,” Kharkiv regional Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said on Telegram.
Syniehubov said those injured include children as young as 4.
Russian forces have been in constant action since taking the city of Lysychansk, the last major part of Luhansk that had been resisting. While analysts had expected Russia to take a break at that point to regroup and restock their arms, Ukrainian officials have not seen them take any downtime.
While this has meant that Ukrainians have not had a respite in the midst of attacks, British military has observed that this has had a detrimental effect on Russian personnel. Videos posted online have led them to believe that at least one Russian brigade was “mentally and physically exhausted.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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