Putin extends fast-track Russian citizenship to all Ukraine

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree expanding a fast-track procedure to receive Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians.

It’s yet another effort to expand Moscow’s influence in war-torn Ukraine.

Only residents of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions as well as residents of the southern Zaporizhzhia and the Kherson regions were eligible until recently.

More than 720,000 residents of the rebel-held areas have received Russian passports between 2019 and this year.

Russian missiles pounded Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv on Monday in what one administrator described as “absolute terrorism.” The Russian missile strikes targeted a school, a residential building and a warehouse.