Putin visits occupied city of Mariupol in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the occupied port city. MariupolIt was the first visit to the part of Ukraine that Moscow illegally annexed in September, after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest on war crimes charges.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday that Putin arrived in Mariupol late on Saturday after visiting Crimea, southwest of Mariupol, to mark the ninth anniversary of the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula. He was shown chatting with Mariupol residents and visiting an art school and children’s center in Sevastopol, Crimea.

Mariupol became a worldwide symbol of resistance after Gunmen and Outman Ukrainian forces were stationed there in a steel mill. About three months ago Moscow eventually took control. Its in May. Much of the city was reduced to rubble by Russian shelling.

Former national security adviser Lt General H.R. McMaster on “Face the Nation.”“, noting the ICC warrant, called Putin’s visit a “moment of clarity”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Mariupol.
In this still photo taken from a handout video released on March 19, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Mariupol in Russian-controlled Ukraine.

Kremlin.ru/Handout via REUTERS

“Just look at the brazen cynicism associated with him going to Sevastopol, which he annexed illegally in 2014, and then Mariupol, going there at night,” McMaster said. “You know, visiting the sites – a few sites – you know, after the Russian military killed innocent people in Mariupol, you know it wasn’t messed with.”

Putin has not commented on the arrest warrant, which has deepened his international isolation, despite the fact that he could face trial any time soon. The Kremlin, which does not recognize the ICC’s authority, has rejected its move as “legally null and void.”

The surprise visit also comes ahead of a planned visit to Moscow by Chinese President Xi Jinping this week, expected to give Putin a major diplomatic boost in his confrontation with the West.

“You will see in the coming days and weeks more and more evidence of China’s support for Russia,” McMaster said.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told “Fox News Sunday” that any call for a cease-fire in Ukraine after the Putin-Xi meeting would be unacceptable to the United States because it would only represent “Russia’s victory to date.” will confirm”. And give Moscow time to “try to organize, retrain, re-humanize and re-plan the attack.”

According to Russian news, Putin arrived in Mariupol by helicopter and then took himself around the city’s “monuments,” the concert hall and the coastline. The state-run Russia 24 channel showed Putin on Sunday interacting with locals in what appeared to be a newly built residential complex, and was shown around one of the apartments.

After his trip to Mariupol, Putin met with Russian military leaders and soldiers at a command post in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, about 180 kilometers (about 112 miles) to the east, and met with General Valery Gerasimov. Peskov, in charge of Russian military operations in Ukraine, said.

Peskov said the visit was unannounced, and that Putin intended to “inspect his work.” [command] Post in your normal mode of operation.”

Speaking to the state-run RIA-Novosti agency, Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnulin made it clear that Russia is here to stay in Mariupol. He said the government hopes to complete the reconstruction work of its damaged city by the end of the year.

“People have started to come back. When they saw that the reconstruction work is going on, people started to come back actively,” Khasnulan told RIA.

Mykhailo Podoliak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, scoffed at Putin’s visit to Mariupol.

He said that the criminal is always drawn to the crime scene. “While nations of the civilized world announce the arrest of the ‘war director’ if he crosses the border, the organizers of the murder of thousands of Mariupol families come to admire the city’s ruins and mass graves.”

When Moscow completely captured the city in May, 100,000 people remained, out of an estimated pre-war population of 450,000. Many were stranded without food, water, heat or electricity. The continuous bombardment left rows of shattered or hollowed-out buildings.

The plight of Mariupol first came to international attention Russian airstrike on maternity hospital On March 9, 2022, less than two weeks after the invasion of Ukraine began. A week later, a bombing in a theater used as the city’s largest bomb shelter reportedly killed nearly 300 people. Evidence obtained by the Associated Press suggested. The actual death toll may be closer to 600..

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *