Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on recognition of the military ranks, documents on education, qualifications and military service of former Ukrainian soldiers and police officers who deserted to the Armed Forces of Russian Federation after the annexation of Crimea. This decree was published on the official portal of legal information.
It concerns Russian citizens living in Crimea and Sevastopol who are on contract service in military units and organizations of Russian Armed Forces, located in the Crimea in the period from March 18, 2014 to January 2, 2015.
The documents on military service in the Armed Forces, military units and law enforcement bodies of Ukraine that have military service are recognized as valid.
Earlier the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced that they did not consider Crimean civilians, who were forcibly taken into Russian Army to be deserters.
"Armed Forces officers who betrayed the oath of allegiance to the people of Ukraine and statutory deadlines and did not come to mainland of Ukraine for further service are deserters. Criminal cases are opened against all such military officers," the Head of the General Headquarters Vladyslav Seleznyov said.