Children born in Ukraine’s Kherson region since 24 February will automatically receive Russian citizenship, said Russian state news agency RIA novosti citing  Kiril Stremousov, acting as a deputy head of Kherson occupation administration.

The new policy will also include local orphans.  Stremusov, who became one of the first open collaborators in the region following Russia’s occupation, argued some 10 thousands applications have already beeen  submitted by locals seeking a Russian passport.

Moscow has also moved to do the same thing to orphans in other occupied regions.  Earlier this month,  267 parentless children from Mariupol and Volnovakha were taken across the border to Rostov where Russian officials are now scurrying to make them Russian citizens.

The provocative policy drew condemnation in Europe wher  EU officials said they will not acknowledge forcefully imposed Russian citizenship.

Among other moves that sparked an ire were forceful introduction of the Russian currency, a ruble, in local shops and changes in school curriculum in Kherson schools.

The situation remains tense in Kherson as the city residents have no mobile network while many of its suburbs are still without water and power.