Earlier this week, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed a decree offering people in eastern Ukraine’s separatist territories passports.
He later said he was mulling extending the scheme to all Ukrainians.
But Mr Zelensky – a former comedian with no political experience who was elected last Sunday – said he did not believe many of his countrymen would take up the offer.
“Ukrainians are free people in a free country,” he said.
Instead, he offered citizenship to “all people who suffer from authoritarian and corrupt regimes”, but firstly “to the Russian people who suffer most of all.” . . . Mr Zelensky said a Russian passport provides “the right to be arrested for a peaceful protest” and “the right not to have free and competitive elections.”