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LDNR Citizens Are No Foreigners
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Russia has excluded Ukrainians registered in the LDNR from foreigner status so far as coronavirus-related right of entry into Russia is concerned.

The LDNR was going to be in quite a pickle due to coronavirus, having been blockaded by both the Ukraine and Russia when these countries closed their borders on March 16 and March 18, respectively. This threatened a humanitarian crisis. While Russia was legally obligated to let in the 200,000+ LDNR residents who now have Russian citizenship, how were the rest of its ~3.5M denizens to manage?

Fortunately, Russia has made an exception for Ukrainian citizens registered in the LDNR, as well as for holders of LDNR passports.

This is a very good development.

First, it legitimizes potential Russian claim to the territory – while the Ukraine bars (almost all) its citizens within the LDNR from entry, Russia does not. And it does so in a way that can be validly defended on purely humanitarian grounds.

Second, the LDNR is a major risk zone for Corona. The population is very old and highly urbanized, and the healthcare system has been wracked by war and sanctions in addition to the rest of Ukraine’s general post-Soviet neglect. Will any international organizations even cooperate with the LDNR on testing? As such, it is very good that some country, any country, with access to epidemiological spare capacity get involved there.

The Ukraine is itself a potential Corona hot zone. The LDR would be even less capable of containing it than Ukraine. That in turn would present an epidemiological threat to Russia – a possibility that can be preempted now, expending minimal resources, and in a way that even advances broader geopolitical goals. So the next stop should be for Rospotrebnadzor to get officially involved in epidemiological testing and monitoring within the LDNR.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Corona, Novorossiya, Russia, Ukraine 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Mr. XYZ says:

    How at risk is Crimea for coronavirus?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  3. @Mr. XYZ

    I guess the same or very similar as other parts of Russia. Why would it be different?

    • Replies: @Belarusian Dude
    , @Mr. XYZ
  4. I really doubt this will do much help. The people who could and would leave for Russia have already done it, everyone else has reasons they can’t make it. I silll predict there will be an almost complete demographic collapse there following this with post corona DNR/LNR population being 10-25% armed men from elsewhere. Without elderly family to take care of, even more people will leave once this is done.

  5. @reiner Tor

    It’s a vacation zone. That said I think most people will cancel it, so yeah, it’ll be like much of other parts of Russia, probably a bit better just because folks there are healthier.

  6. Mr. XYZ says:
    @reiner Tor

    Because it was under Ukrainian rule for 22.5 out of the last 28.5 years?

  7. It is right that LDNR citizens are treated like Russian citizens. However, for practical epidemiological reasons (the virus does not check your passport), everyone coming to Russia from anywhere, foreign countries, LDNR, and especially Ukraine, should undergo quarantine for two weeks. That should include Russian citizens. LDNR has very porous border with Ukraine, which is likely to become a hotspot of infection, so obligatory quarantine for LDNR residents, regardless of citizenship, should be enforced.

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