Passportization as an instrument of Russia's foreign policy to face territorial conflicts: the Donbas as a case-study

People living in the Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, recognised as People’s Republics by Moscow in 2014, can apply for Russian citizenship through a simplified procedure, due to Presidential Decree No. 183/2019. Is this fast track part of Russian foreign policy to sharpen the divisions between these two separatist republics and the rest of Ukraine? The paper aims to underline the strategic importance of the Russian passportization of the Donbas, which could represent a justification for military intervention to defend Russian compatriots. In fact, Russia distributed passports to the Donbas’ population, even if Ukraine stressed that this mass naturalization violates the Minsk agreements. As a result, Russian passports are not recognised by Kiev, not allowing dual citizenship. Consequently, it is interesting to examine the status of the Donbas’ residents, who belong to russkij mir but they are “second-class citizens” with limited rights compared to other Russians in the world.