MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. The population of Donbass has been subjected to isolation and genocide for eight years, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
"The people there for a long time, for eight years, have been, as they say, neither here nor there," the head of state said during a meeting with the winners of the Leaders of Russia competition.
"I am not even mentioning bombardments and such but in general, this is the isolation and genocide, if one also considers the accompanying eight-year-long military pressure," Putin stressed.
The Russian leadership will do everything to completely restore living conditions in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) for all the residents of this region, the president said.
"We will do everything for the living conditions there to fully recover and become normal for all the people residing there. And in general, to be clear, 3.7 mln people reside in the LPR and DPR. This is a lot, more than in Crimea. There are 2.5 [mln] in Crimea and here there are 3.7 mln people on two territories. So, in order for the people to feel normal, to have an opportunity to live in a modern way, just to live and to live in modern conditions, of course, we’ll have to do a lot. We will help," the Russian leader said.
Commenting on plans to give the Donbass residents the opportunity to participate in Russia’s "More than a journey" project, the Russian president said that it was very important. He reiterated that over the past eight years many Donbass residents "had no passports, neither Russian nor Ukrainian ones, they couldn’t even buy a plane ticket to travel in Russia, couldn’t even send their children to study at Russian universities." Putin stressed that at that time, the region "has lost ties with Ukraine and hasn’t [yet] acquired them with Russia." "These opportunities that are you offering to the young people from the DPR and LPR are very timely and right," he concluded.