'Last week, Zelensky criticised a number of western nations for not sending their top leadership to a conference organised by Kiev to discuss re-taking the Crimean peninsula, re-absorbed by Russia in 2014.'
And Zelensky was the anti-corruption candidate elected to replace the butcher Poroshenko.
Hillary's darling Victoria Nuland spent $5 billion on 65 NGOs in proto-Nazi western Ukraine, the old haven of the feared Banderites who were so brutal they even scared Heinrich Himmler. This group, in this pocket known as Galicia, were deliberately spared by the OSS of Allen Dulles during the Nazi purges as they might later 'prove useful'.
Nikita Khrushchev, himself a Ukrainian, moved administration of Crimea, part of Russia since 1789, from Moscow to Kiev, something that mattered little at the time.
But Crimea has the port of Sevastopol. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia paid millions per annum for use of the port. Sevastopol is Russia's only access to the Mediterranean Sea, the whole point of Nuland's exercise. The US and NATO totally control the Med, save for the occasional vessel from Russia. And Vicky dear wanted them GONE. (It's all part of the Truman Building plan for world domination, no worry.)
This is the ultimate scandal: that the UNITED STATES, instrumental in the defeat of Nazism in the world, should willingly support its reemergence in support of its goals for domination. The US of A, that poor country with a mere 800 or 1000 military bases on the soils of 150 countries of the world, should be so FRIGHTENED of aggressive Russia, who used to have two (2) but now only have one (1).
Putin doesn't give a shit about expansion. He cares deeply about his own country, no more. He also knows there's no stopping those well-scrubbed frat boys in the US Department of State and over in Langley.
The coup that Victoria Nuland orchestrated in 2014 scared the bejeezus out of the Crimeans who are naturally ethnic Russian. They knew pogroms were to follow. They petitioned their parliament to hold a referendum on applying for membership in the Russian Federation which won with 80+% of the vote and a staggeringly high turnout, and resulted in celebrations through the streets. The Duma in Moscow approved the application. People in Crimea suddenly found their benefits increasing many times over, and new passports dropped into their letterboxes. (We know this because we've been in contact with people there.)
Russia has also taken in over one million refugees from eastern Ukraine (Donbass) which Poroshenko bombed and shelled to shit.
But you'll know none of this in the US of course where the propaganda is thick. Leading former US intel people made a special 'skinny-drip' trip to Crimea, and several journalists from the US have visited and been shocked to find that things are not at all as portrayed by the military industrial complex. But what do you expect?
Trump had it right.