A Russian soldier addresses reservists during the partial mobilization of troops in the town of Volzhsky in Russia's Volgograd region on September 28.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree creating a simplified naturalization process for foreigners who join the Russian armed forces on a contractual basis.
The decree that came into force immediately after it was signed on September 30 appeared on the website for Russian legislative documents.
Putin signed the decree on the same day he signed other decrees to formally seize four Ukrainian territories partially occupied by Moscow as he escalates his failing seven-month invasion.
According to the decree to simplify the naturalization process, foreigners who sign contracts on military service in the Russian armed forces for at least one year and then spend at least six months in military operations in armed conflict zones during which they are seriously wounded will be eligible to obtain Russian citizenship in a simplified and expedited way.
Spouses, children, and parents of such foreigners are also eligible to be fast-tracked for Russian citizenship. In addition, close relatives of foreigners who die while serving in the ranks of the Russian armed forces can also apply for Russian citizenship and receive it through a simplified procedure.
The decree says the naturalization process requires the registration of fingerprints, and the applications for obtaining citizenship must be processed in three months.
The decree came as Russia continues its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and less than two weeks after Putin announced partial military mobilization to the war in Ukraine amid serious setbacks on the ground.
Many reports in Ukraine have said there were citizens of Central Asian countries among Russian troops captured by Ukrainian armed forces since Russia started it full-scale aggression against Ukraine in late February.