Ukraine's Zelensky says Russia ripped Ukraine's heart out

Ukrainian President Zelensky addresses Russia

According to Zelensky, in order to put an end to all the strife between the Ukrainians and the Russians, Russia must "return" Crimea to Ukraine.

"Crimea was the heart of Ukraine. It was a sunny, kind, and bright jeart. Seven years ago, the heart was ripped out of Ukraine. We will never forget who did it, and we will never forget who allowed it to be done. Some insisted that they ripped out our heart legitimately and politely. And now, clutching it in their hands, they sincerely wonder why Ukraine feels offended, why it does not want to have good relations, why there is so much hatred, why Ukraine cannot forget and forgive it," Zelensky said.

He added that he had signed a decree on measures to "de-occupy" Crimea, including support for the Crimean Tatar culture and protection of the rights of the residents of the peninsula.

In January, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba announced that he would send Russia an invitation to participate in the work of the international "Crimean Platform" dedicated to the "de-occupation" of the peninsula. The summit is scheduled for May 2021 in Kiev.

Crimea became part of Russia in March 2014 as a result of the referendum, in which the majority of residents of the peninsula supported such a decision. Ukraine, the EU and the United States refused to recognize the results of the vote and called the reunification of the peninsula with mainland Russia an act of annexation. The Russian authorities reject those accusations and insist that the accession procedure was conducted in accordance with international law.

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