Kyiv's approach to the question of returning Crimea changed after February 24; now it will be decided by military means, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky's representative for Crimea Tamila Tasheva said on Ukraine 24 TV channel.
«The question of Crimea, the approach to returning the territory changed after February 24. We understand that, in any case, we now rely primarily on the Armed Forces of Ukraine.»
She added that should any plans for the return of Crimea get to implementation, the Ukrainian military will be the first to enter the territory. Kyiv's firm position is that the territories must be returned without any ultimatums for the Ukrainian side and that the 1991 borders, including Crimea and Donbass, must be reinstated, the presidential representative said.
Russia's seizure of Ukrainian territories began in 2014, when it annexed the Crimean peninsula. Most of the international community does not recognize Crimea's accession to Russia. On February 21, 2022, three days before the war on Ukraine was declared, Putin recognized the independence of the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics. This was preceded by a meeting of the Security Council, at which its members asked Putin to sign the recognition of the «LDNR». On February 22, Russia recognized the «DNR» and «LNR» within the borders of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
In the third month of the war, Russia announced its intention to annex the occupied Kherson region. On May 6, Secretary of the United Russia General Council Andrei Turchak visited Kherson. Speaking to local residents, he declared that «Russia is here forever»: «We will live together and develop this rich region, rich in historical heritage and rich in its people.»