KIEV, May 24. /TASS/. The newly-appointed chief of Ukraine’s General Staff, Ruslan Khomchak, appointed by President Vladimir Zelensky two days ago, believes that Kiev had lost Crimea long before 2014.
In an interview to the news agency UNIAN he shared his recollections of a holiday he once spent in Crimea, which he described as a shocking experience.
"I bought a voucher to a health resort in Alupka," Khomchak said. "When the holiday was over, I told myself I would never go there again, because what I’d seen was really shocking. It was a sad ruin of what was left of the Soviet Union… I kept asking myself: ‘Is this Ukraine?’"
He warned that a change of the state of the public mind in Crimea for the better would require much time and effort and when it might be achieved was anyone’s guess.
After a government coup in Kiev in February 2014 the authorities of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol made a decision to call a referendum on unification with Russia. On March 16, more than 80% of those eligible to vote took part in the plebiscite and 96.7% and 95.6% respectively said they wished reunification with Russia.
On March 18, the Russian president signed a treaty on the accession of Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia. The Federal Assembly ratified it on March 21. In defiance of the unequivocal returns Kiev has refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.