Kremlin's Coercive Campaign: Ukrainians in Occupied Territories Face Citizenship Pressure and Educational Imposition

Kremlin's Coercive Campaign: Ukrainians in Occupied Territories Face Citizenship Pressure and Educational Imposition

The Kremlin's extensive campaign to compel Ukrainians in occupied territories to adopt Russian citizenship has been exposed in a recent investigation.

Evidence suggests that individuals are being denied healthcare and freedom of movement unless they acquire Russian passports. Refugees interviewed by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) recount instances of relentless pro-Russian propaganda in the occupied regions.

One refugee, Larysa, revealed that access to essential medical treatment, such as insulin for diabetes, was withheld until her friend applied for a Russian passport. Similar accounts highlight the denial of services like healthcare and pensions without Russian citizenship. The pressure to assimilate as Russians includes checkpoints on roads where documents are inspected, and individuals are warned that passage without a Russian passport will be restricted.

These accounts align with the experiences of other refugees, like Lyudmyla and Oksana, who left their homes due to the imposition of the Russian school curriculum on their children. The opening of Russian schools forced families to obtain Russian passports, linking educational access to citizenship. The fear of conscription into the Russian army and concerns about distorted historical narratives in new Russian schoolbooks also contributed to their decision to leave.

Historian Artem Petryk, who witnessed the occupation of Kherson, describes the Kremlin's concerted efforts to influence local populations. Control of media, including television and radio, dissemination of pro-Russian propaganda, and the imposition of Russian identity through public spaces and education were key strategies. The psychological impact of these Russification efforts is likened to a non-physical weapon, affecting individuals on a daily basis.

The report underscores the multifaceted tactics employed by the Kremlin to exert control and reshape the identity of occupied territories, drawing parallels with past instances, such as Russia's actions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The coercion of Ukrainians to embrace Russian citizenship extends beyond administrative measures, encompassing essential services, education, and historical narratives.

The comments posted here are not from Cnews Live. Kindly refrain from using derogatory, personal, or obscene words in your comments.