Photo from UNIAN

Read alsoDeliberate non-recognition of Crimea, Donbas as Ukraine's territory may be criminalized

"The Crimea issue for him [Putin] is a matter of principle. As long as he is in the Kremlin, nothing will change. Crimea will be returned over Mr. Putin's dead body," Ponomarev told the ATR Crimean Tatar TV channel.

"But another issue is the issue of Donbas. Donbas for Putin is a dilemma. He needs to save his face in any way to tell citizens of the Russian Federation that there was a certain task there and it has been completed: the Russian language and something else, i.e. we have won. Russia may leave Donbas, but it will not return Crimea while Putin is in the Kremlin," he said.