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Russia-Ukraine war: Zelenskyy strips citizenship of former politicians

Dati Bendo (European Commission) / Wikimedia Commons

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stripped several former Ukrainian politicians of their citizenship. The move is the latest of steps taken by Kyiv to rid the country of pro-Russian figures.

Zelenskyy announced the move during his nightly address on Saturday, saying that several former Ukrainian politicians were stripped of their citizenship. While Zelenskyy did not name the former politicians, the Ukrainian leader said they held dual citizenship with Russia.

“Today, I signed the relevant documents to take another step to protect and cleanse our state from those on the side of the aggressor,” said Zelenskyy during his address.

Ukrainian state media reported that the list includes several former politicians from the office of Zelenskyy’s pro-Russia predecessor Viktor Yanukovich, who was the leader of Ukraine from 2010 until he was removed from office in 2014.

Former education and science minister Dmytro Tabachnyk, former deputy prime minister and Yanukovych’s administration head Andriy Kiyuyev, and former interior minister Vitaly Zakharchenko, according to RBC-Ukraine.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Kyiv has stripped several individuals of their Ukrainian citizenship and has also sanctioned hundreds of Russian and Belarusian individuals and firms.

On Sunday, Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov said Ukraine is expecting a possible Russian offensive this month.

However, Reznikov said that Kyiv has the resources to push back against Moscow’s forces even as not all the military aid provided by the West will arrive on time. Reznikov told a news conference that Moscow might launch a new offensive for “symbolic” reasons coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the invasion.

Reznikov noted that not all of Russia’s resources are ready from a military standpoint, but Moscow will likely launch an offensive anyway.

“Despite everything, we expect a possible Russian offensive in February. This is only from the point of view of symbolism; It’s not logical from a military view because not all their resources are ready. But they’re doing it anyway,” said Reznikov, who added that the offensive may likely take place in eastern Ukraine, where Russia is trying to capture the Donbas region or the south, where Moscow is looking to widen its land corridor to the annexed Crimean peninsula.

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