Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed on Friday to recapture the Kremlin-controlled Crimea peninsula from Russia.
During a first official state iftar, he said: “There is no alternative for Ukraine, or for the world, other than the de-occupation of Crimea. We will return to Crimea.”
Zelensky, speaking at a mosque outside the center of the capital, Kyiv, announced that Ukraine was beginning a new tradition of hosting an official iftar, the meal breaking the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
"Ukraine is grateful to the Muslims of our country and to everyone in the Muslim community of the world who, like us, longs for peace and protection from evil," he added.
Zelensky then handed out awards to several Muslim Ukrainian servicemen.
Russia wrested control of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and pushed through a referendum on the annexation that was condemned as fraudulent and illegitimate by Ukraine and its Western allies.
The Muslim Tatar community, which accounted for 12-15 percent of the two million Crimea residents, largely boycotted the 2014 vote.
Moscow then banned the Mejlis -- the traditional assembly of the Tatar Muslims in Crimea -- declaring it an extremist organization and has jailed members of the community since, citing security concerns.