Vladimir Putin visits captured Ukrainian city for first time since invading
Russian President Vladimir Putin He visited the Ukrainian-held city on Sunday for the first time since the country was invaded last year.
Putin made an unannounced visit to the coastal city of Mariupol, which was reduced to rubble by artillery fire early in the invasion by Russian forces. The footage shows Putin driving through the city at night while Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnolan explains the efforts of Russian forces to rebuild the city.
Putin’s government has touted the reconstruction efforts in Mariupol as evidence of its claim to free Ukrainians from fascist leaders.
Mariupol saw some of the most dramatic and intense fighting of the early months of Russia’s invasion, with Ukrainian forces stationed at a steel factory as Russian forces captured the city. Ukrainian troops finally surrendered in May.
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This visit of Putin has happened a few days after that. International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Ukrainian children last week for kidnapping them away from their families.
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However, given the court’s limited jurisdiction, the ICC’s warrants have little real-world impact. This move was immediately rejected by Moscow.
Putin will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow later this week, as China tries to negotiate peace terms between Russia and Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has expressed doubts about China’s entry into the peace process but has said he is open to talks.
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Xi is expected to a Phone call with Zelenskyy Shortly after visiting Moscow. Such a call would be the first in-person interaction for the pair since before Putin’s attack.