Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited the war-torn metropolis of Mariupol in a shock tour of occupied territories in Ukraine, state media has reported.
That is the Kremlin chief’s first journey to Ukraine’s Donbas area because the battle started simply over a 12 months in the past. Ukraine considers it illegal to enter the nation with no respectable border crossing.
You are reading: Vladimir Putin visits war-torn Mariupol in apparent show of defiance after war crimes arrest warrant
It comes days after the Worldwide Felony Court docket (ICC) points a warrant for Mr Putin’s arrest over alleged warfare crimes, together with the illegal deportation of youngsters from Ukraine to Russia. Moscow, which doesn’t recognise the authority of the ICC, has denied the allegations and labelled the warrants as “outrageous”.
The southeastern metropolis of Mariupol turned an emblem of defiance after outgunned and outmanned Ukrainian forces held out within the metropolis’s Azovstal steelworks for 3 months whereas it was underneath siege.
Moscow lastly took management of the ability – and with it, the strategically essential port metropolis within the Sea of Azov – in Might final 12 months after a give up.
Mr Putin arrived in Crimea on Saturday in a shock go to to mark the ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula.
He then flew by helicopter to the port metropolis in Donetsk – the Ukrainian area near the Russian border which was annexed in September 2022, together with Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia. Mr Putin signed a legislation that absorbed the areas into Russia after a referendum, which Ukraine and the West rejected as a sham.
State-owned information company TSSA described the tour to Mariupol as a “working journey”, with the president travelling round a number of districts of town and stopping alongside the best way to talk to residents.
A video posted by state media confirmed the president driving across the metropolis and visiting the Philharmonic Corridor which was allegedly utilized by Russia to stage trials of the defenders of the Azovstal industrial advanced.
That is the closest Mr Putin has been to the frontlines because the warfare started.
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Russia has been rebuilding Mariupol in its personal picture after fierce preventing ravaged greater than 2,500 buildings – accounting for nearly half of town.
The ruined steelworks was as soon as one of many largest crops in Europe, however Russian architects are turning it right into a “tech and eco park”.
Mr Putin greeted high-ranking navy personnel on his tour, together with Chief of the Basic Workers Valery Gerasimov – head of his “particular navy operation” in Ukraine – whereas in southern Russia, and Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Russian-installed governor in Sevastopol, Crimea’s largest metropolis.
Russian media reported that he visited a brand new Russian arts college, a kids’s summer season camp and future cultural initiatives, such because the New Russia museum and museum of Christianity.
On Friday the ICC issued the warrant for Mr Putin’s arrest on suspicion of illegal deportation of youngsters and illegal switch of individuals from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation. It’s the primary time the chief of a UN Safety Council member has had an arrest warrant issued towards them.
Mr Purin is but to remark publically on the arrest warrant, however his spokesman has known as it “null and void”.
Nevertheless, he’s unlikely to face trial because the courtroom doesn’t extradite its residents and Russia doesn’t recognise its jurisdiction.