Putin in Mariupol: between the “cynicism” denounced by Ukraine and the challenge to the International Criminal Court | news today
Putin visited the Russian-occupied city after visiting Crimea on the ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula. According to the Kremlin, Putin talked with local residents, visited the apartment of one of the locals, assessed new roads and followed the construction of new facilities in the city.
Photo: EFE – RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PRESS SERVICE/
Ukraine denounced this Sunday “cynicism” and the “lack of remorse” of Russian President Vladimir putinwho made a surprise visit to the city of Mariupol, devastated by bombing and captured by Moscow a few months after the start of the invasion a year ago.
The visit to Mariupol is the first trip by the Russian president to the occupied zone since the start of the offensive on February 24, 2022.
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“The criminal always returns to the scene of the crime (…) the murderer of thousands of families in Mariupol came to admire the ruins of the city and (their) graves. Cynicism and lack of remorse,” denounced the adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, Mikhailo Podoliak, on Twitter.
The port city, located in the eastern Donbas region, was devastated after months of siege by Russian forces, who captured it in May 2022.
According to images broadcast by Russian state television, the trip took place at night, which was criticized by the Ukrainian authorities.
“The international criminal putin he visited occupied Mariupol at night “probably so as not to see the city killed by its ‘liberation’ in daylight,” the city’s Ukrainian municipal council wrote on Telegram.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense denounced for its part that the Russian president visited Mariupol “like a thief (…) under cover of night.”
The Russian president arrived in Mariupol after visiting Crimea on Saturday, on the anniversary of Moscow’s annexation of that peninsula in 2014.
The visits come after The Hague-based International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him on Friday over the deportation of children from Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.
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– “Very spontaneous” visit –
In the images broadcast on Russian television, you can see putin chatting in the streets with residents. The president arrived by helicopter and took a tour of the city driving himself a vehicle, the Kremlin reported.
“We pray for you,” a resident tells him, who assures that the city, on the shores of the Azov Sea, is “a little paradise.” putin He also visited the recently rebuilt local philharmonic and received a report on the reconstruction work in Mariupol, the Kremlin press service detailed.
It was a “very spontaneous” visit, insisted his spokesman, Dmitri Peskov. “His movements in the city were not planned either,” he added. For the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, the fact that putin making the trip at night allowed him to “highlight what he wants to show”.
In this way, he kept “the city that his army completely destroyed and its few surviving inhabitants away from prying eyes,” he denounced. putin He must be back in Moscow on Monday, for the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom he will sign a series of agreements.
Xi’s visit, scheduled until Wednesday, will mark the beginning of a “new era” in relations between the two allied countries, according to the Kremlin. Westerners hope Xi will take advantage of his visit to Moscow to ask “old friend of his” Vladimir putin put an end to the conflict.
China has not condemned the military offensive and has tried to present itself as a neutral player in the conflict, a position criticized by Western leaders.
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– Arrest warrant pending –
The Russian president made the trips to Crimea and Mariupol after the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The court ordered his arrest for the deportation of children in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine.
kyiv claims that more than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the start of the conflict. Russia, which is not part of the member countries of the ICC, considered that order “null and void.”
In Sevastopol, the home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, putin attended the inauguration of a children’s art school together with the local governor, Mikhail Razvojayev, according to images from the public television channel Rossia-1.
“Our President Vladimir Vladimirovich putin knows how to surprise In the good sense of the word,” Razvojaev wrote on Telegram. The visit marked no pause in military operations in eastern Ukraine, where at least two people have been killed in Russian shelling, according to Ukrainian sources.
Russia annexed Crimea on March 18, 2014, following a referendum not recognized by Ukraine or the international community.
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