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Luhansk Separatist Region To Issue Passports

The self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic says it will begin issuing passports to residents of areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The Luhansk rebels' "Council of Ministers" said it signed a regulation on April 3 allowing the entity to begin handing out passports.

The decree said the passports will be in Russian and available to people 16 years of age or older.

The regulation comes into force on April 21.

The territory, which is on part of Ukraine's Luhansk region, was declared by Russian-backed rebels in April 2014.

It has no international recognition except from Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia.

The rebel entity also announced on April 3 that it had opened its own bank and started paying pensions in Russian rubles.

Based on reporting by Interfax, NTV, and