April 28, 2019

PUTIN VS. THE COMEDIAN: Ukraine’s president-elect has mocked Russia’s offer to give passports to his countrymen, saying the document would provide “the right to be arrested.”

Earlier this week, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed a decree offering people in eastern Ukraine’s separatist territories passports.

He later said he was mulling extending the scheme to all Ukrainians.

But Mr Zelensky – a former comedian with no political experience who was elected last Sunday – said he did not believe many of his countrymen would take up the offer.

“Ukrainians are free people in a free country,” he said.

Instead, he offered citizenship to “all people who suffer from authoritarian and corrupt regimes”, but firstly “to the Russian people who suffer most of all.” . . . Mr Zelensky said a Russian passport provides “the right to be arrested for a peaceful protest” and “the right not to have free and competitive elections.”


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