A proposal aimed at those linked to the “enemy state” envisions sentences of up to 15 years
FILE PHOTO: An elderly woman holds her Russian and Donetsk People’s Republic passports, February 19, 2022 © AP / Alexei Alexandrov
A law proposed by the government in Kiev on Friday would see some Ukrainians who obtain Russian passports punished with lengthy prison terms. Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk insisted the measure is not aimed at ordinary Ukrainians, but officials who work with the “enemy state.”
The draft calls for a sentence of 10-15 years for any local or regional government employees who accept an “enemy” passport. Engaging in “propaganda for an enemy state” would carry a sentence of 5-8 years, while “compelling” Ukrainian citizens to accept an “enemy” passport would be punishable by 8-12 years behind bars.
Any Russian citizens engaging in “illegal passportization on the territory of Ukraine” would also be subject to these penalties, said Vereshchuk, whose portfolio is “reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories.”
She added that this type of law “should have been passed in 2014.” After the US-backed coup in Kiev in February that year, Crimea voted to rejoin Russia, while the Donbass regions of Donetsk and Lugansk declared independence. Kiev brutally suppressed protests in the Kharkov and Odessa regions, while sending the army into Donbass.