Vladimir Putin Visits Mariupol; First Time Since Annexation

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the occupied port city of Mariupol in September during his first trip to the illegally annexed Ukrainian territory.

On Saturday night, he was given a tour of the city by the deputy prime minister, Marat Khusnullin, who also gave him an update on the reconstruction efforts. State television broadcast footage of this.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s visit commemorated the ninth anniversary of Moscow’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula. Putin’s intentions were to inspect the work of the [command] post in its normal mode of operation, according to Mr. Peskov, who claimed the trip had been unannounced.

In September, President Putin moved to annex four heavily Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, including the Donetsk region, which includes Mariupol. The majority of nations at the UN General Assembly deemed this action illegal.

Russian news agencies cited the Kremlin in their report that Putin traveled to Mariupol by helicopter. In the entire year-long conflict, Putin has never been this close to the front lines. Putin drove a car through a number of the city’s neighborhoods in the Donetsk region, stopping and conversing with locals. 

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Vladimir Putin’s War Crime

Russia-Vladimir Putin-Mariupol-World News
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the occupied port city of Mariupol in September during his first trip to the illegally annexed Ukrainian territory.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe classified a war crime as Russia’s early bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol. Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, has frequently traveled to the front lines to boost troop morale and strategize, while Vladimir Putin has largely remained inside Russia throughout the conflict.

On Sunday, Russian media reported that Putin had a meeting with Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the general staff of his military operation in Ukraine. Azovstal, one of Europe’s largest steel plants, was located in Mariupol, which had a population of 500,000 before the war. An estimated 100,000 people remain there.

Many were trapped without food, water, heat, or electricity during the fighting. Rows of buildings were destroyed or left hollowed out by constant bombardment. Less than two weeks after the invasion of Ukraine began on March 9, 2022, a Russian airstrike on a maternity hospital brought attention to Mariupol’s residents’ plight.

The largest bomb shelter in the city, a theater, was reported to have been bombed a week later, killing about 300 people. A warrant for Putin’s arrest for war crimes was issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday.

For the first time, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council has been asked to be detained by the international court. Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crimes of unlawful expulsion of (children) and unlawful transfer of (children) from occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation,” the International Criminal Court (ICC) declared in a statement.

While Ukraine praised the move as a great step, Russia instantly disregarded the event. Despite the likelihood that he won’t be tried anytime soon, Mr. Putin’s international isolation has grown as a result of the arrest warrant, on which he has made no comments.

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