Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is to set up a council to advise on the restoration of Ukrainian power in Crimea. He announced this on Thursday during a commemoration of deportations on the peninsula in 1944. Crimea has been in the hands of Russia since 2014.
“We are preparing to recapture Crimea,” Zelensky said. He signed the regulations on the advisory council that deals with the reintegration of Crimea and the port city of Sevastopol.
According to Zelensky, more and more countries are saying that it is impossible to restore international peace as long as Russia does not return the peninsula to Ukraine.
“I am counting on the liberation of Crimea and its full return to the Ukrainian state,” the president said at a commemoration of mass deportations in 1944.
On May 18, 1944, some 200,000 Crimean Tatars were deported. The Crimean Tatars are a population group from the peninsula and related to the Turks. The deportation was led by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
When Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014, according to Zelensky, “everything that was free in Crimea was once again destroyed”. The reconquest of Crimea is therefore high on the list of priorities, Ukrainian officials say.
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