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Zelensky: It will be difficult to preserve the Crimea and the Donetsk region

The head of state spoke about this in an interview with Ukrainian journalists, which was published on the Ukrainian news portal Pravda. He stated that he considered preserving Ukraine’s sovereignty a priority. “Secondly, I really want us not to lose hundreds of thousands of people,” he said. He described the third most important thing that Ukraine does not give up Crimea, which was arbitrarily annexed by Russia, and that Kyiv agrees to “postponed” the settlement of this issue. He stressed that in the case of the Moscow-friendly separatist regions of the Donetsk Basin, Ukraine does not give up the fact that these regions belong to it.

“The fact that Russia has recognized parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as something, I think we need to find a way out of this situation. It is very important for us to preserve the Ukrainian status of these regions. This is one of the basic but it will be the most difficult story.”

According to Zelensky, if Ukraine now fights for the occupied territories of the Donetsk Basin, it will lose 40-50 thousand, or even a hundred thousand people. But he acknowledged that Russia is seeking to occupy more Ukrainian lands in the basin and the south of the country.

According to the president, talks with Russia should continue after the revelation of the “Russian massacres” in Boksa, Kyiv, at least in order to resolve humanitarian issues. Moscow still denies that Russian soldiers executed civilians in Boksa, describing what happened there as a provocation.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Ukraine’s allies on Twitter not to buy gas, oil or coal from Russia so that “the Buxa case cannot be repeated”.

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Cover photo: Laurent Van der Stockt for Le Monde / Getty Images