MOSCOW – “Petro Poroshenko lost the election to no one other than to Vladimir Putin”. This was stated by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Maria Zakharova , recalling how the current Ukrainian president opposed himself on billboards to the Russian president during the election campaign.
“Either Poroshenko, or Putin,” said the slogans on these posters, and at the same time Poroshenko lost,” Zakharova said. “So Poroshenko didn’t lose the election to anyone but Putin?” Then, according to her, “Ukraine should obey the will of the one with whom Poroshenko lost to”.
Zakharova described the reaction of the Ukrainian president to the Kremlin’s decision on the granting of Russian citizenship to citizens of Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics with the phrase “choked with indignation”.
The move to grant citizenship to Donbass residents comes at a time when Crimea’s recent 5-year-reunification with Russia celebrations left many in Donbass looking on feeling like ‘2nd class citizens’, with sentiments such as ‘abandoned’ expressed even.
The issuing of Russian passports to DLPR residents puts them on an equal footing in that sphere with those in Crimea, or in fact any citizen in Russia, and the 20+ republics that make up the Russian federation. They are Russian passport-holders, so Russian citizens.
Furthermore, Russia is a country which has said on many occasions that it will do everything to safeguard the well-being of every Russian citizen – look at Medvedev’s speech at the time of Russia’s intervention in South Ossetia, 2008, and numerous statements by Putin in reference to Crimea, 2014, and on.