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Zelenskyy on liberation: Crimea is waiting, but it will be mentally harder with Donbas

Thursday, 30 November 2023, 11:25
Zelenskyy on liberation: Crimea is waiting, but it will be mentally harder with Donbas
Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Photo: Ukraine's President's Office

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy believes that liberating Crimea will be easier because there were no hostilities there, but liberating Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts will be more challenging due to Russia's 10 years of control, militarisation of the territory, and separatism.

Source: Zelenskyy during a meeting with students in Mykolaiv

Quote: "We might reclaim the territories before these people (the Russians – ed.) do. That can happen. For example, if we take Donbas, people have been living there for 10 years, living in a different space, and it's a lengthy process. It can be different. I think it's more challenging with Donbas.

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My partners once said, 'It will be almost impossible for you to get Crimea back and very difficult to get Donbas back.' In my opinion, when we talk about people, territories come back with people; if people don't want to [come back], it will be very difficult…

And even now, when Russia is at war against us, the fiercest separatists are retreating, the Russians are fleeing, but these [separatists] stand firm. That also says something. There were no military actions in Crimea, so I believe Crimea eagerly awaits return, and Donbas also awaits, but it will be very difficult because a significant part of this territory was occupied and highly militarised."

Details: Zelenskyy said that mentally, bringing back the residents of the occupied Donbas will be more challenging since the region endured 10 years of armed conflict, and there was a contact line there.

Additionally, there is a significant presence of separatism, and some people have seen war, he concluded.

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