NOVO-OGARYOVO, April 20. /TASS/. People in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions have fought for many years for the right to be a part of Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
People in the new territories "have fought for many years for the right to be with Russia," he said at a meeting of the Local Self-Government Council.
"For many years they have lived in absolutely different conditions of regional and municipal government, which are not like the conditions in Russia," he went on to say.
The president said municipal officials working in the new territories should be treated with warmth and consideration and provided with "all the necessary assistance for the integration of the new regions into the unified system of Russia’s public government."
Putin also said "there are many volunteers among the municipal community, who decided for themselves to be there (in the area of the special military operation - TASS), where things are tough."
"They are an example of loyalty to the Motherland and its interests and are now defending our historical territories, protecting people in these territories," the president continued.