It will be more difficult for Ukraine to “mentally” return the residents of the occupied Donbass than the residents of the annexed Crimea, since fighting has been going on in the Donbass for 10 years. President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky expressed this opinion during a meeting with university students in Nikolaev.
Zelensky admitted that Ukraine would return the territories occupied by the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR before the local residents.
My partners once told me: it will be almost impossible for you to return Crimea and very difficult to return Donbass. And in my opinion, if we are talking about people, the territories will still return with people, if people don’t want it, it will be very difficult…
And even now, when Russia is fighting against us, the toughest separatists are standing, the Russians are fleeing, but these are standing. This also says something. But there were no hostilities in Crimea, so I believe that Crimea is waiting for a return, and Donbass is also waiting, but it will be very difficult, because most of this territory was occupied and militarized to the maximum.
The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly stated that the war with Russia can only be ended after the Russian Federation withdraws from all occupied territories, including Crimea annexed by the Russian Federation and the territories of Donbass captured by separatists in 2014.
In the fall of 2022, Russia annexed the occupied territories of Ukraine: the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR, as well as parts of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
Source : Meduza