Ukraine will never forget the events that took place seven years ago associated with the occupation of Crimea, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
"We will never forget the events that took place seven years ago. Crimea was the heart of Ukraine. Sunny, kind, bright. Seven years ago, our heart was torn out. We will never forget who did it, and we will never forget who allowed it. Some argued that they had torn our heart out lawfully and politely. And now, holding it in their arms, they sincerely wonder why Ukraine is offended, why it does not want to have good relations, why there is so much hatred, why Ukraine cannot forget and forgive this ...," Zelensky said in a video address before the start of the telethon devoted to the Day of Resistance to the Occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on Friday.
The President said that in order for Ukraine to be able to happily and sincerely "its heart must be returned, the Crimean peninsula must be returned.
"Unfortunately, this has not happened yet. But no one will be able to annex our memory. The memory that Crimea remains occupied. That the boots were brutally wiped on security guarantees and international law. That the active militarization of the region is taking place. That the rights of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are regularly violated in Crimea. Freedom of speech, thinking, religion is persecuted. Public activists and journalists are being imprisoned," he noted.
Zelensky specified that now the Russian Federation holds captive more than a hundred political prisoners from Crimea, and reminded that together with Ukraine's international partners, the first meeting of the Crimean Platform will take place on the eve of Independence Day in Kyiv, which is an international platform initiated by Ukraine to search for and further implement a set of measures to deoccupy the peninsula and protect the rights of Crimean residents.
"Dear Crimea! The whole of Ukraine is waiting for you. 'Welcome' is usually said to guests. And relatives are told: 'We look forward to seeing you at home.' Dear Crimeans! It's time to go back home. We are waiting. We believe. We love. The people of Ukraine," the head of state added.