President Vladimir Putin paid an unexpected visit to the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the scene of some of the worst destruction of his year-long invasion, a day after being charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
On Saturday night, Putin was shown in extensive footage touring the city, visiting rehoused citizens, and receiving an update on rehabilitation operations from Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin.
Since most of the port city of Mariupol was left to ashes in the early stages of the conflict and finally surrendered to Russian forces in May, it came to be renowned across the globe as a symbol of death and devastation. In the bombing of a theatre where families with children were taking cover, hundreds of people perished.
The early bombardment of a maternity facility there by Russia was deemed a war crime by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Russia refuted it and has maintained that it does not target civilians ever since it invaded on
February 24 of last year.
The issue of Russia debated in the International Criminal Court
As the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest on Friday, accusing him of
the war crime of deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine, Putin’s visit had the
the appearance of a defiant show of force.
His spokesperson stated that the action was legally “null and invalid,” and that Russia
viewed the very concerns the ICC was raising to be “outrageous and unacceptable.” Putin
has not publicly commented on the action.
The trip to Mariupol was Putin’s first to the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine’s Donbas
region since hostilities began and brought him the closest to the front lines yet.
Despite leading what Russia refers to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine, Putin has
primarily stayed inside the Kremlin. This contrasts with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr
Zelenskiy, who has made many excursions to the battlefield to raise the morale of his troops
and discuss strategy
The invasion, according to Kyiv and its supporters, was an imperialist territorial grab that
caused thousands of deaths and millions of displaced people in Ukraine.
“PIECE OF HEAVEN,”
Darkness surrounded Putin’s journey to Mariupol. State television showed him behind the
wheel of a car, travelling across the city with his deputy prime minister, Khusnullin, and
receiving a thorough explanation of the reconstruction of homes, bridges, hospitals,
transportation lines, and a music centre.
What Media has to say about the move of the Head of Russia?
According to state media, Putin went to a brand-new neighbourhood that the Russian
the military had developed, with the first residents moving in last September.
“You live here, right? Do you enjoy it?” Putin was seen approaching locals.
“I really do. Now that we have this small corner of heaven,” a woman responded, clapping
her hands together and congratulating Putin for “the triumph.”
Downtown has suffered significant damage, according to Khusnullin.
“By the end of the year, we want to have at least the facade portion of the centre’s renovation completed. The centre is quite lovely.”
The Ukrainian administration didn’t respond to the visit right away.
Mariupol is located in the Donetsk area, one of four mostly Russian-occupied parts of
Ukraine that Putin tried to annex in September. The majority of nations in the United
Nations General Assembly deemed this action to be unconstitutional.
After visiting Crimea on the ninth anniversary of Russia’s seizure of the region from Ukraine,
Putin flew there by helicopter.
From Mariupol, Putin travelled to Rostov in southern Russia, where he met with the Chief of the
General Staff Valery Gerasimov, who is in charge of leading Russia’s military campaign in
Ukraine, as seen on official television on Sunday.