Residents in all Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, including Crimea, should know Ukraine will definitely liberate them and bring their lives back to normal, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sept. 14.
The president made the comments while visiting the liberated town of Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast.
“We should send signals to those of our people who, unfortunately, are still under occupation,” he said.
“And (this is) my signal to the people in the Crimea: We know these are our people, and it’s a terrible tragedy that they have been under occupation for more than eight years. We will come back there.”
At the same time, Zelenskyy said he does not know when exactly this may happen.
“But we have plans, and we will return there, because this is our land and our people,” he said.
Zelenskyy said the residents of the temporarily occupied Crimea have been under the pressure of the Russian propaganda all these years, but when Ukraine returns to the peninsula, Crimeans will see the falsehood of Russian television and propaganda.
“Because we know the truth is on our side,” Zelenskyy said.
The Ukrainian president also noted the warmth with which the Ukrainian soldiers were greeted in the liberated territories.
“This is a very emotional moment,” he said.
“This means life is coming back, together with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
Speaking about his impressions of what he saw in the de-occupied Izyum, Zelenskyy said that he knew this region very well even before he became the president of Ukraine, so what he saw was shocking.
“What we see is shocking, although we’ve already seen this in Bucha, in the first de-occupied territories,” he said.
“Likewise, destroyed buildings, killed people... Unfortunately, this is part of our (reality) today. And this is part of the modern Russian nation – what they did.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the recently liberated town of Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast on Sept. 14.
The Ukrainian army managed to liberate about 40 settlements during its counter-offensive in Kharkiv Oblast, including Balakliya, Kupyansk and Izyum.
On Sept 11, the flag of Ukraine appeared over Vovchansk, near Ukraine’s international border with Russia. The settlement is located only three kilometers from the Russian border, and had been under Russian occupation for over six months.