What is more important: returning people or territories? Very often this is exactly the vein in which Russian the question is posed by Russian propaganda. Russian claim Ukraine seeks to return the territory, but refuses to hear out the Donbas people. Moreover, for some reason, it's exclusively Kremlin representatives who speak up on behalf of Donbas, while intentionally "forgetting" about the occupied Crimea.
Now the Ukrainian president's team are trying to find a way to end the hostilities in Donbas. Objectively, there are few options, especially given Moscow's manic desire to retain in Donbas their occupation administrations of the "LPR/DPR".
Therefore, the emphasis is being put on addressing humanitarian issues and trying to help out Ukrainians living in the occupation.
Since peace was promised – we are now moving towards it, together. We are showing off the process
Our citizens are really there, so it is difficult to blame anyone for such decisions.
However, sometimes there's a feeling that this concern for people living in the occupied territories is presented solely as an attempt to show "the contrast" between how it was under the previous leadership and now under the sitting president.
Since peace was promised – we are now moving towards it, together. We are showing off the process.
It is possible and necessary to streamline the crossing of the contact line and make the system of receiving pensions and benefits easier.
Recognizing birth and death certificates issued by occupation administrations could also be okay, although it would be better to develop a mechanism for replacing these documents with the Ukrainian ones.
However, none of this is likely to resolve the main issue of war and peace – the return of territories.
The other day came a report claiming Ukraine owed more than $1.5 billion to pensioners living in the occupied areas. Some call the situation "egregious", but the problem of delivering this money is not that easy to solve.
As long as this line of contact is in place, people will live behind it in this ghetto created by Russia
Of course, we could purchase from Brazil some Super Tucano light attack aircraft and just drop money on parachutes, but even in this case, there is no guarantee that the aircraft won't be attacked by Russian air defense systems on their way back.
Authorities are now trying to figure out how to create comfortable conditions for our citizens on both sides of the contact line.
It seems that here lays their major mistake. The thing is that it's impossible. As long as this line of contact is in place, people will live behind it in this ghetto created by Russia. Only once the line is eliminated will Ukraine return both its territory and its people.
The examples of Mariupol and Sloviansk are here to help us realize this easy truth.