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.
The paper aims at highlighting some of the features that qualify the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as a real proxy war. Far beyond the involvement of the 2 actors, the current events in Eastern Europe are rewriting the world geopolitical order, with the (in)direct confrontation between the Western bloc and the Russian world. In the first European war of the new millennium, we observe the Western desire for an involvement that is as soft as possible for domestic public opinion, but which in any case implies decisions that affect, even deeply, multiple constitutional rights (economic and press freedom), the limitation of which is justified precisely because of a state of war that has never actually been declared. This is clear from the economic sanctions, but also from the restrictions on the dissemination of certain information channels in European countries. The intervention of fighters of other nationalities on the battlefield is also significant in this context.
The Russian-Ukrainian war is a conflict at the EU’s borders which makes us reflect on the future of a Common defense policy among the 27 member States. Recently, the EU High Representative has announced that about € 450 M of the European Peace Facility has been allocated to purchase and deliver lethal weapons and other aids to the Ukrainian army in order to defend the Country from the invasion. This action represents the first step towards a more efficient EU’s external action, but probably this is not the only measure the EU can adopt. In fact, the dramatic war situation in Europe reveals the need for closer cooperation in the military field, which can also bring to the formation of a common EU army. My purpose is to investigate how to reach a more inclusive military collaboration among member States, analyzing which are the main critical aspects and problems under the EU constitutional law perspective..