Occupation "authorities" of the Crimea began to return Ukrainian passport to civil servants against signature, the lawyer Nikolai Polozov who protects the repressed Crimean Tatars on the peninsula, informed on Twitter.
“Looks like civil servants were given back their Ukrainian passport against the signature. Several people have already received them.”
The lawyer suggested, that giving back Ukrainian passports may indicate the preparations to a second illegitimate "referendum" on the status of the Crimean Peninsula.
"I assume that the Kremlin might consider holding another " super-transparent" referendum in the Crimea. With foreign observers and the like.
It is clear that such a referendum can not produce legal effect. But it could become a publicity stunt for the lifting of sanctions."
Earlier, in the end of November 2016, the Attorney General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko stated that the invaders, in violation of international law, brought more than 72 thousand Russians o the Crimea.