The situation with the issuance of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea needs to be addressed wisely and carefully, as many people there found themselves in a hopeless situation when they had to survive. Therefore, it is impossible to divide Ukrainians by passports, said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview for Dom TV channel.
"Of course, glory and great respect to those people who managed to refuse passports, various "documents" of unrecognized "republics" and keep a Ukrainian passport. We are very grateful to these citizens. But people are different, circumstances are different. There might be a woman who hid a Ukrainian passport somewhere and is taking care of her bedrid mother; this woman is not allowed to come to us from there, and she needs to live and survive somehow. That is why she uses a Russian passport or some other document,” the Head of State explained.
The President is convinced that citizens who found themselves in such a situation cannot be definitively assessed and divided by passports.
"As for Russia regarding passportization, it is easy to say and evaluate it unequivocally. Russia, of course, brutally violates international law," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
He noted that people who received Russian passports are then used by the Russian authorities, in particular for organized participation in the Russian elections in order to "boost" votes in favor of pro-government candidates.
"But, as life shows, as history shows, usually all this, such actions are washed away by history. As after the rain - all this will be washed away, everything will pass. And maybe one day there will be one line left in some books that there was a temporary passportization of the then still occupied Donbas. It was, and then it passed, and Ukraine returned," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President expressed his conviction that the most important thing is whether you love Ukraine. If you do, you are Ukrainian, regardless of the circumstances, place of residence and documents issued by someone.
"If you don't, you are a guest, a traveler. And the people who occupied are guests," the Head of State stressed.
If a person living in the occupied territory of Ukraine considers Russia the homeland, then, according to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, it is better for this person to leave Donbas now.
"It will never be a Russian territory. No matter how long it is occupied. In any case, people, history will seize the moment, and this wall will collapse… You love Russia, you think that you have been in Ukraine all your life and felt that it is Russia, then in the name of your children and grandchildren you have to go and look for a place in Russia. This is the right way. Because without Ukraine there will be no civilization in this territory. Ukraine will grow upwards, everything will be built - definitely. Donbas in the occupied, cut off type will not grow anywhere. Therefore, there’ll be no happiness here for these people," the President stressed.