In recent years more than 50,000 Russians have immigrated to Ukraine

In the first ten months of this year, 2,857 citizens of the Russian Federation received permission to immigrate to Ukraine, DW reports, citing the State Migration Service of Ukraine. In total, according to the Ukrainian migration authorities, this year 8,932 foreigners have applied for immigration. Of these, Russians make up 32 percent.

In general, according to the State Migration Service, from 2014 to November 1, 2020, 51,779 citizens of the Russian Federation received Ukrainian residence permits. In 2014, 15,571 Russians were approved for immigration to Ukraine, 9,830 in 2015, 8,049 in 2016, 6,823 in 2017, 5,868 in 2019 and 4,781 in 2019. The statistics covers the period from 2014, the time of the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of part of the Donbas. Military action and later lockdown measures due to the pandemic have seriously complicated the migration of citizens of both countries.

Article 4 of the Immigration Act of Ukraine lists thirteen grounds on which foreigners can apply for Ukrainian residence. Such right is exercised, for example, by scientists and culture workers, whose immigration is in the interests of Ukraine, highly qualified professionals, persons who are ready to invest into Ukrainian economy at least 100,000 U.S. dollars, direct relatives of Ukrainian citizens, persons who have the right to acquire Ukrainian citizenship as a country of birth, and who have served in the Armed Forces of Ukraine for at least three years. The government of Ukraine has simplified the procedure for filing documents on immigration in 2019.

Foreigners who took part in the armed conflict in the Donbas on the side of Ukraine, not only get the the residence and work permits, but also often become Ukrainian citizens. Thus, in 2019, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky granted citizenship to fourteen foreigners who fought for Ukraine, including Russians Yuri Savilov and Yulia Tolopa.

According to the State Migration Service of Ukraine, from 2014 to November 1, 2020, 19,304 Russians became citizens of Ukraine. The largest number, 11,860 people, received a Ukrainian passport under the “country of birth” catergory, that is, they themselves or their relatives were born or permanently resided in Ukraine until August 24, 1991.

Among the famous Russians who became Ukrainian citizens, Yegor Gaidar’s daughter – Maria. She received a Ukrainian passport in 2017 and was an adviser to President Poroshenko. At the end of 2016, Denis Voronenkov, a Ukrainian citizen and former deputy of the Russian State Duma, died shortly after being killed by a hit man in Kyiv.

(C)UAWIRE 2020

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