Ukraine will only accept complete restoration of its territory - Oleksii Reznikov

12 September 2022

The people of Ukraine demand full restoration of the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as of 1991, Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov has said at the 17th Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting "Ukraine: Defending All Our Freedom", organised by YES in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

Any territorial changes as of 24 February this year are out of the question for the Ukrainian people. We can only speak about a complete restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within the internationally recognized borders as of 1991. This means Crimea is Ukraine and Donbas is Ukraine,” Reznikov said.

Reznikov also said Russians and their descendants will have to pay reparations for all the damage and destruction they brought on the Ukrainian land. 

He is also convinced of the need for setting up an international tribunal for a trial over the Russian war criminals.

“Russians are committing crimes in Ukraine, that is why we speak about the future tribunal. Call it the Nuremberg trials, Nuremberg-2, whatever. I believe it is better to hold these trials in Mariupol or Kharkiv as this is where many of the war crimes were committed. In essence this is going to be the Nuremberg trials where the criminals who now lead the Russian Federation and who issue criminal orders will be brought to justice,” Reznikov said.

Reznikov suggested that executing the deed on Russia capitulation is simple from a legal standpoint. 

“There was an equivalent in 1945 with Nazi Germany with an endorsement by representatives of the war winners alliance so this should be simple to create. Russia has to pay, their future generations need to pay,” Reznikov said.

Reznikov went on to indicate when he will be certain of Ukraine’s victory..

“When I can take a domestic flight from Kharkiv to the restored Mariupol, then take a flight to Kherson and then Istanbul or London, then I know Ukraine is safe,” Reznikov said.

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John Tefft
John Tefft
Ambassador to Ukraine (2009-2013), 15th YES Annual Meeting, 2018
«Russia still has to become a modern nation. It still hasn’t made the fundamental decisions to determine whether it’s going to be a part of the international community or whether it’s going to try to be an imperial power and attack its neighbors, and take their land.»