Ukraine lists “historically” Russian regions inhabited by Ukrainians, Medvedev responds

The order accuses Russia of committing and continuing “actions there aimed at destroying the national identity, oppressing Ukrainians and violating their rights and freedoms.”

The document calls on the Ukrainian government to develop an action plan “to preserve the national identity of Ukrainians in the Russian Federation, including in the areas where they historically live.”

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According to the decree condemning forced Russification, political repression and deportation of Ukrainians, “crimes committed against Ukrainians” must be listed.

Millions of ethnic Ukrainians live on Russian territory, a result of Tsarist and Soviet rule, shifting borders and Stalin-era exile.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has been accused of forcefully Russifying the territories it occupies, rewriting history, and deporting civilians, especially children.

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Mr. Zelensky's decree did not lay claim to Russian territories.

Russia, which invaded its neighbor in February 2022, claims to have annexed five Ukrainian regions: Crimea in 2014, followed by Lugansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions in 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied the existence of a Ukrainian nation, believing that Ukrainians belong to the Russian world and that their identity is an artificial creation.

Dmitry Medvedev, the former president and current No. 2 in the Russian Security Council, said on Monday that Mr. Condemned Zelensky's mandate, accusing him of “territorial pretensions” and a drug addict.

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“Since Ukrainians are actually Russians and Little Russia (a Russian imperial term referring to Ukrainian territory, editor's note) is part of Russia, there is nothing to comment on,” he wrote in Telegram.

“Ukrainians will understand that it is better to live in a common state than to die,” Medvedev threatens.

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