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Zelensky blames Ukraine’s loss of Donbass on Poroshenko

The Ukranian president also blamed Ukraine’s acting prime minister in 2014, Alexander Turchinov, for the loss of Crimea
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky EPA-EFE/PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky

KIEV, November 26. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Friday blamed his predecessor Pyotr Poroshenko for the loss of Donbass, and Ukraine’s acting prime minister in 2014, Alexander Turchinov, for the loss of Crimea.

"Mr. Turchinov is one of those people who lost Crimea. And Mr. Poroshenko is one of those who lost Donbass. This says it all. It is my own opinion and, I am certain, the opinion of a majority of Ukrainians," Zelensky told a news conference.

One of the journalists recalled that during his election campaign Zelensky criticized Poroshenko for remaining the owner of a confectionery plant in Lipetsk, while the incumbent president was one of the founders of the Kvartal 95 studio, whose video content was shown in Russia.

Zelensky said that such parallels were groundless.

"I am different from Poroshenko, who was doing his business in wartime. Secondly, it is not correct to liken media space to candies," he said, adding that products manufactured at the Poroshenko-owned factory were sold in areas of Donbass that were beyond Kiev’s control. Also, Zelensky said that he had quit Kvartal 95 as a business partner, while its content’s copyright was in the hands of a Swedish broker.

Crimea and conflict in Donbass

After the February 2014 government coup in Ukraine the authorities of Crimea and Sevastopol made a decision to hold referendums on the issue of reunification with Russia. Taking part in the voting on March 16 were more than 80% of eligible voters, and 96.7% and 95.5% in Crimea and Sevastopol respectively came out for reunification with Russia. On March 18, the Russian president signed a treaty on the accession of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation. On March 21, the treaty was ratified by the Federal Assembly. In defiance of the unequivocal results or the plebiscite Kiev has refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

In the East of Ukraine, with its mostly Russian-speaking population, mass protests began after the government coup in Kiev. In retaliation the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation in Donbass. Heavy artillery and air bombardments of residential areas caused a humanitarian disaster in the region. In this situation, Donbass saw a referendum on the issue of self-determination of the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics, and on May 12, 2014 both republics proclaimed state sovereignty. The basis for a settlement of the conflict in Donbass is a package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements (Minsk-2), signed by the participants in the Contact Group for a settlement in Donbass on February 12, 2015.