The Kremlin press service said the Russian president, against whom the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant on Friday, visited Mariupol, a city in Russian-occupied territory in eastern Ukraine.
According to Russian media reports, he flew there by helicopter and drove around the city accompanied by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin.
It is alleged that Putin “inspected the coastline in the area of the yacht club, the theater building and memorable places, and talked with local residents in the Nevsky microdistrict.”
In a video released by state-owned Russian RIA Novosti, Putin is seen at the wheel discussing loans to rebuild the city with Khusnullin and then allegedly touring the Philharmonic auditorium.
Footage from Russian state television shows Putin talking to people who allegedly live in Mariupol. They wish him well.
The Layout publication identified the Nevsky residential complex and a real resident of the city in this video.
In addition, Russian media reported that after Mariupol, Putin went to Rostov-on-Don, where he held a meeting at the command post of the “special military operation.”
This is Putin’s first trip to the occupied territories.
The Russian army occupied Mariupol in May 2022 after bloody fighting and a long blockade. The city was almost completely destroyed by artillery shelling. According to the UN, up to 90% of multi-storey residential buildings and about 60% of private houses were destroyed or damaged there.
Before the war, about 426 thousand people lived in Mariupol. 350 thousand of them became refugees. During the Russian siege, at least 25 thousand people died.
The day before, on Saturday, March 18, Russian state media reported on Putin’s trip to annexed Sevastopol.
Leave a Reply