Vladimir Putin arrived on a surprise visit to Russian-occupied Mariupol

  • President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Russian-occupied Mariupol in Ukraine’s Donbas.
  • Mariupol was Russia’s first major victory since Mr. Putin launched his full-scale invasion last February.
  • The President of Russia traveled around several districts of the city, making stops and talking with residents.
Russian state media reported that President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Mariupol in what would be the Kremlin leader’s first trip to Russian-occupied Ukrainian Donbas since the start of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
The visit came after Mr Putin visited on Saturday during an unannounced visit to commemorate the ninth anniversary of and in just two days for the Russian leader.
Mariupol, after one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the war, it was Russia’s first major victory after failing to capture Kyiv and focusing instead on southeastern Ukraine.
Putin flew by helicopter to Mariupol, according to Russian news agencies, citing the Kremlin.
This is Mr. Putin closest to the front line during .
By car, Mr. Putin traveled around several districts of the city, making stops and talking to residents.
Mariupol on the Sea of ​​Azov, after several weeks of fighting, turned into a smoldering shell.
The Organization for Security, Cooperation and Europe (OSCE) said Russia’s early bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol was a war crime.
On Friday, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Putin, charging him with the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine in a highly symbolic move that further isolates the Russian leader.
Bye made a number of trips to the battlefield to boost morale among his troops and discuss strategy, Mr. Putin has largely remained in the Kremlin, leading what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Kyiv and its allies talk about the invasion, is an imperialist land grab that has killed thousands and displaced millions of people in Ukraine.
In the Nevsky district of Mariupol, a new residential area built by the Russian military, Mr. Putin visited the family at their home, Russian media reported.
“The head of state also examined the coastline of Mariupol in the area of ​​the yacht club, the theater building, memorable places in the city,” the Interfax news agency reported, citing the Kremlin press service.
Mariupol is located in Donetsk Oblast, one of
Kyiv and its Western allies condemned the move as illegal.
Donetsk, together with Luhansk Oblast, make up the majority of Donbass, an industrialized part of Ukraine that has hosted the biggest battles in Europe for generations.

Russian media reported Sunday that Mr. Putin also met with the commander-in-chief of his military operation in Ukraine, Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov.