About 35-40 thousand citizens of Ukraine, including more than 20 thousand Crimean Tatars, were forced to leave the occupied Crimea because of intimidation by the so-called authorities. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Sergei Kislitsa provided the corresponding information during his speech at the international conference "De-occupation of Crimea: When and How" held in Lisbon.

“Intimidation, physical and psychological pressure from the occupation authorities of Crimea forced about 35-40 thousand citizens of Ukraine, including more than 20 000 Crimean Tatars, to leave the peninsula and settle in other regions of Ukraine,” the press service quoted the Deputy Foreign Minister.

Kislitsa noted that the Russian occupation authorities intimidate citizens to eliminate any civil initiatives, as a result of which more than 60 Ukrainians were illegally imprisoned in Russia and in the occupied peninsula.

“Their release remains one of the main priorities of Ukraine and the international community.”

The press service further noted that an international conference was held by the Embassy of Ukraine in Portugal in the framework of the international platform initiated by the President of Ukraine "Friends of Crimean De-occupation."

Earlier, People's Deputy of Ukraine Georgy Logvinsky said that Russia is ready to spend excessive amounts of money make the Crimean Tatars leave the annexed Crimea, as they remain part of pro-Ukrainian residents of the peninsula.