Putin visits the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, occupied by Russian forces since last year

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Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Mariupol this Sunday (19), according to Russian media. The Ukrainian city is in the Donetsk region, which has been occupied by Moscow forces since May last year.

Putin flew to Mariupol by helicopter, TASS reported, citing the Kremlin. Driving a car, the Russian leader toured several neighborhoods of the city, making stops and talking to residents.

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“The head of state also examined the coastline of Mariupol in the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe yacht club, the theater building, memorable places of the city,” explained the Interfax agency.

The visit took place after Russian President traveled to Crimea on Saturday (18), in an unannounced visit, to mark the ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, and just two days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a arrest warrant against the Russian leader.

other encounters

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The Russian leader even met with the main command of his military operation, including Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, commander of Russian troops in the war.

The meeting took place at the Rostov-on-Don command post in southern Russia, TASS news agency reported.


Mariupol was conquered by Russia in May last year, after one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the war. It was the country’s first major victory after failing to conquer Kiev, instead focusing on southeastern Ukraine.

Located on the Sea of ​​Azov, the city lay in ruins after weeks of fighting.. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said Russia’s early bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol was one war crime.

In September last year, Putin signed the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to Russia. Kiev and Western allies condemned the move as illegal.

Donetsk, along with the Luhansk region, comprises most of the industrialized Donbass part of Ukraine, which has seen the biggest battle in Europe for generations.

Source: CNN Brasil

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