Der Spiegel on reintegration: compared to 2014, Donbas and the whole of the country have become more Ukrainian
Donbas, like the rest of Ukraine, has become more Ukrainian today. This shows that our country is fully capable of reintegrating the territories that have long been under Russian occupation.
This is stated in the article "Fight and Live" by the German publication Der Spiegel. Journalists who visited the Donetsk region admitted that there are still people who hate the Ukrainian military, but there are also those who feed them for free.
As an example, the media cited Sloviansk, which was home to pro-Russian insurgent centers nine years ago. The majority of the city's population supported Russia back then. Today, however, the mood has changed.
"Like the rest of the country, Sloviansk has become more Ukrainian. The same people live here," the article says.
The authors of the publication concluded that Ukraine will be able to reintegrate Donbas and Crimea, which have been under occupation since 2014.
Another realization that the German correspondents gained after traveling halfway across Ukraine (from Kyiv to the village of New York in the Donetsk region) is the rise of the Ukrainian language. It is now the language of identity.
"This was facilitated by state coercion, social pressure, and thousands and thousands of personal decisions," the publication noted.
The authors noted that Ukrainian can now be heard on the streets of Kyiv as often as Russian, but the most noticeable is the Ukrainization of the usually Russian-speaking Kharkiv. In the city of one and a half million people, many people have switched to the native language to show the enemy that Ukrainians are a united nation.
As reported by OBOZ.UA:
- President Zelenskyy expressed the opinion that Crimea, which was seized by Russia in 2014, would probably be easier to de-occupy than Donbas. It is not only about liberating the territories but also about the mental return of people to Ukraine.
- A poll conducted by the Rating group showed that about 45% of Ukrainians have a very negative attitude towards citizens of the aggressor country of Russia, and 27% have a rather negative attitude. On the other hand, Russians who oppose the war are mostly viewed positively in Ukraine.