Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said residents of Donbas are split into those who support Ukraine, advocates of Russia, and those who are "lost."

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"A survey has shown that most people [in Donbas] want to live in Russia. This is wrong. I believe and know there are people who are for Ukraine. There are also those who have got lost. And finally, there are those who are for Russia. Those who are for Russia may go there – Russia is now issuing illegitimate Russian passports," he said in an interview for Der Spiegel, according to the Ukrainian TSN TV news service.

Zelensky says everyone has the right to choose where he or she wants to live, but he considers it "wrong and unfair" to call Ukraine their country simultaneously having Russian citizenship in Ukrainian territory.

"It doesn't work that way. As for those 'lost,' if someone has a Ukrainian passport, and then additionally gets a Russian passport and receives social assistance here and there, they have lost their way. <…> You'll have to get those people back, to fight for them. But I would not fight for people who consider themselves solely Russians," Zelensky added.