Kyiv vows to restore Ukrainian rule in Russia-annexed Crimea

Russia shows no sign of abandoning Crimea, home to its Black Sea fleet, and has used the peninsula as a platform to launch missile strikes on Ukrainian targets.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a joint news briefing with Poland's President Andrzej Duda, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine August 23, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a joint news briefing with Poland's President Andrzej Duda, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine August 23, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed on Tuesday to restore Ukrainian rule over Russia-annexed Crimea, a move that he said would help re-establish "world law and order."

He told an international conference on Crimea that regaining control of the peninsula, seized and annexed by Russia in 2014 in a move not recognized by most other countries, would be the "biggest anti-war step."

"It all began with Crimea, and it will end with Crimea," Zelensky said in an opening address to the Crimea Platform, a forum that seeks to restore Ukraine's territorial integrity and end Russia's annexation of Crimea.

"It all began with Crimea, and it will end with Crimea"

Volodymyr Zelensky

"And this is true, and I believe in it 100%, that to overcome terror, to return guarantees and security to our region, to Europe, to the whole world, it is necessary to gain victory in the fight against Russian aggression."

"It is necessary to liberate Crimea from occupation," he said. "This will be the resuscitation of world law and order."

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and Poland's President Andrzej Duda pose for a picture before a meeting, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine August 23, 2022. (credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and Poland's President Andrzej Duda pose for a picture before a meeting, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine August 23, 2022. (credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Zelensky said representatives of about 60 states and international organizations were taking part in the summit, including about 40 presidents and prime ministers. Almost all were participating online but Polish President Andrzei Duda attended during a visit to Kyiv.

Russia shows no sign of abandoning Crimea, home to its Black Sea fleet, and has used the peninsula as a platform to launch missile strikes on Ukrainian targets.

"Despite (Russian) threats, Ukraine is strong enough to see the prospects for Ukrainian Crimea," Zelensky said. "Ukraine's restoration of control over the Crimea peninsula will be a historic anti-war step in Europe restoring security and justice."

"Ukraine's restoration of control over the Crimea peninsula will be a historic anti-war step in Europe restoring security and justice"

Volodymyr Zelensky

He said Russia had turned Crimea into "an ecological disaster zone and a military springboard for aggression," using it to fire 750 cruise missiles at "cities and communities."