They proudly display the Ukrainian flag and that of the Crimean Tatars.
Seven years after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula by Russia, nearly 200 of them gathered at the border to mark what they call the day of resistance to the occupation. A dark anniversary for the president Joe Biden. In a statement he said that the United States will “never” accept this annexation and will stand alongside Kiev.
Since 2014, Ukraine has faced Russian-backed separatists in the Donbass region, a conflict that has left more than 13,000 dead and nearly 1.5 million displaced but has not found a political solution.
For Kiev, diplomacy is the only possible outcome: “We are convinced that a four-way summit in the Normandy format is necessary for a new step forward“said Dmytro Kuleba, the head of Ukrainian diplomacy.
In 2019, the Ukrainian and Russian presidents met under the aegis of France and Germany. They had said they wanted to overcome their disagreements.
France, like the United States, is on the side of Ukraine: “France does not and will not recognize this annexation and overall we support the sovereignty, the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders” underlines Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Vladimir Putin accuses, without naming them, foreign powers of wanting to destabilize Russia and orders the FSB, the former KGB, to redouble their efforts in the face of this threat.
Ukraine has faced Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions since 2014, the deadliest war in Europe since that in the Balkans in the 1990s.