Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an order making it easier for separatists in east Ukraine to obtain Russian citizenship.
On Wednesday, Putin published a decree on the Kremlin website announcing a simplified process to obtaining Russian citizenship, where their applications would be considered in less than three months.
Ukraine has criticized the move as "interference and aggression".
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, who lost the recent election in Ukraine, added this is an unprecedented act of Russian interference in Ukrainian affairs.
Putin said his order was not intended to create problems for the new Ukrainian administration, insisting the decree was for humanitarian reasons.