Moscow Slams Zelensky’s Statements on Crimea
By RT News
The Ukrainian president believes Kiev cannot achieve “victory” without seizing the peninsula from Russia.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky “cannot imagine” the country without the Crimean peninsula, and any scenario without conquering it would not count as a “victory” for Kiev. Zelensky made the remarks in an exclusive interview with CNN, which aired on Monday.
“We cannot imagine Ukraine without Crimea. And while Crimea is under Russian occupation, it means only one thing: The war is not over yet,” he stated.
Zelensky ruled out achieving peace without conquering the peninsula somehow. “It will not be a victory then,” he insisted, doubling down on the repeated promise by the country’s top officials to take Crimea back from Russia.
Moscow has condemned the remarks, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stating that such pledges only further expose the “Nazi essence” of Zelensky’s regime.
“For many years [Zelensky] imagined Crimea without water. And now even without the Crimeans,” Zakharova wrote in a Telegram post, referring to the years-long water blockade imposed by Kiev on the peninsula, as well as repeated promises by top Ukrainian officials to persecute its residents for “collaborating” with Russia. “That’s the Nazi essence of the little Kiev Napoleon,” she added, in an apparent reference to the Napoleon role played by Zelensky during his time as a comedian.
Crimea broke away from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 Maidan coup, which deposed the democratically-elected Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich. Afterwards, the peninsula joined Russia, with its population overwhelmingly backing the reunification idea during a referendum.
Since then, seizing Crimea back from Russia has become a top talking point for Ukrainian officials.