RUSSIA/UKRAINE: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Saturday to introduce financial benefits for people who left Ukrainian territory to come to Russia, including pensioners, pregnant women and disabled people.
The decree published on the government portal introduces monthly pension payments of 10,000 rubles ($170) for people who were forced to leave the territory of Ukraine since February 18. Persons with disabilities will also be entitled to the same monthly support during pregnancy. Women are entitled to a one-time benefit.
The decree says the payments will be made to citizens of Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, two Russian-backed breakaway entities in eastern Ukraine that Moscow recognised as independent in February in a move Ukraine and the West denounced as illegal.
On February 18, Putin ordered that everyone who arrived in Russia from Donetsk and Luhansk be paid 10,000 rubles.
Moscow is giving Ukrainians Russian passports in what Ukraine and the United States say is an illegal effort by Moscow to annex territory it seized as part of what it sees as an imperialist Russian land grab.
Moscow says it is waging a “special military operation” to protect it and to defend Russian-speaking people it says have been persecuted by Ukrainian authorities, which Kyiv denies.
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