The Russian-occupied Crimea is likely to be easier to de-occupy than Donbas. It is not only about liberating the territories, but also about the mental return of people to Ukraine. This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky during a conversation with Mykolaiv students.
"It may happen that we will return the territories before these people. It may happen. For example, if we take Donbas, people have been living there for 10 years, living in a different space, and this is a long process. It can be different. I think it is more difficult with Donbas. My partners used to tell me: it will be almost impossible for you to return Crimea and very difficult to return Donbas. But in my opinion, if we are talking about people, the territories are still returned with people, if people do not want to, it will be very difficult," the head of state said.
According to Zelensky, it will be mentally more difficult to return the residents of the occupied Donbas, as there has been fighting in the region for 10 years and there was a contact line. In addition, there is a lot of separatism, and some people have been through the war.
"The relationship is clear. And even now, when Russia is fighting against us, the toughest separatists are standing, the Russians are running, and these are standing. This also says something. And there were no hostilities in Crimea, so I believe that Crimea is waiting for a return, and Donbas is waiting too, but it will be very difficult, because most of this territory was occupied and militarized to the maximum... The main thing for us is to preserve us. What we have, everything else will definitely return," the president added.