Thousands of Crimeans Applying for Russian Passports
Almost 30,000 Crimean citizens have applied for Russian passports, according to a senior Russian migration official.
"We have received over 29,000 applications for Russian passports from residents of Crimea. More than 2,500 passports have already been issued", Sergei Kalyuzhny, deputy head of the Federal Migration Service told RIA Novosti.
Kalyuzhny added that those who wish to retain their Ukrainian passports will be able to do so, but will need to obtain a residence permit.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree for the incorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation, following a referendum on March 16, in which over 96% of the autonomous region voted in a referendum in favour of splitting from Ukraine.
The vote has not been internationally recognized.