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Russian Politician Gaidar Gets Ukrainian Citizenship

Maria Gaidar (center) holds aloft her newly issued Ukrainian passport, which was presented to her by President Petro Poroshenko (right). Journalist Vladimir Fedorin (left) was also granted Ukrainian citizensjip.

Russian politician Maria Gaidar, who was appointed as deputy governor of Ukraine’s Odesa region in mid-July, has received Ukrainian citizenship.

Ukraine's presidential press service said on August 4 that President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree granting citizenship to Gaidar before presenting her with a Ukrainian passport.

Poroshenko gave another passport to former Forbes Ukraine editor in chief Vladimir Fedorin, who also lives in Odesa.

"Your example shows conclusively that it is impossible to stay silent, it is necessary to live at peace with your conscience," Poroshenko told Gaidar.

Gaidar said Ukrainian citizenship is a landmark choice for her: "I am here at a time that is difficult for the Ukrainian people in order to share the destiny of the Ukrainian people."

She said she hoped "Ukraine will see that Russians are not just war, aggression, and hatred."

The governor of Ukraine's Odesa region, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, announced on July 17 the appointment of Gaidar as a deputy supervising social issues in Odesa.

Gaidar, 32, is the daughter of the late Yegor Gaidar, Russia’s reformist acting prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s.

She is a vocal critic of Yeltsin's successor, President Vladimir Putin.

Saakashvili, Georgian president from 2004 to 2013, has headed the Odesa region since May.

Poroshenko's government has appointed several foreigners to state posts after antigovernment protests toppled pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.

Based on reporting by UNIAN and TASS