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Putin Grants Russian Citizenship To Pro-Moscow Journalist From Ukraine

Anatoliy Vasserman (undated)
Anatoliy Vasserman (undated)

President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to a controversial pro-Russian journalist from Ukraine, Anatoliy Vasserman.

Putin's decree, signed on January 28, has been placed on the Kremlin's site for legislative documents.

The 63-year-old Vasserman is known for public statements challenging Ukraine's statehood.

He has said Ukraine is part of Russia and the Ukrainian and Belarusian languages are dialects of Russian.

In September, Kyiv authorities launched investigations against Vasserman.

They have accused him of calling for separatism as well as inciting ethnic and social hatred.

Vasserman, who was born in Ukraine's Black Sea port city of Odesa in 1952, has been living in Moscow since the mid-1990s.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS