By Imran Khan • 19 March 2023 • 9:23
Putin makes surprise visit to areas of Russian occupied Ukraine after International Criminal Court arrest warrant
Image: Shag7799 Shutterstock.com
According to the Russian state media, President Putin made a surprise weekend visit to the port area of Mariupol, located in parts of occupied Ukraine during the weekend.
This trip by Putin is the first time he is visiting the Russian-occupied territories of the Donbas in Ukraine since the start of the conflict.
The Russian president travelled to Mariupol after he made a surprise visit to Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary since the region was annexed by Russia from Ukraine.
Mariupol saw one of the bloodiest conflicts before it was captured by Russian forces in May 2022, and was the first major victory for Moscow, after it failed to occupy Kyiv.
Putin visited the areas just two days after the International Criminal Court announced an arrest warrant against him for war crimes in Ukraine.
Following the statement by the ICC, Putin is yet to comment publicly about the warrant, as this move to travel to parts of occupied Ukraine has been seen by some observers as an “act of defiance”, according to Reuters.
As per Russian state reports, Putin visited the area for “a working trip” in a helicopter and also travelled around several districts in the city, while making stops to speak to local residents.
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