President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia traveled to Mariupol, a shock go to to the Ukrainian metropolis that was the location of one of many bloodiest battles since Russia invaded final yr, and the closest the Russian chief has been to the entrance traces within the east.
Mr. Putin flew by helicopter from Crimea after which toured Mariupol in Donetsk Province within the east, in response to the state information outlet Tass on Sunday.
It was Mr. Putin’s second unannounced journey to Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine over the weekend, and was the closest the Russian chief has been to the entrance traces previously yr. His journey on Saturday to Crimea was timed to coincide with the ninth anniversary of Russia’s unlawful annexation of the peninsula. The 2 high-profile visits had been additionally defiant gestures from the Kremlin lower than 48 hours after a world court docket issued a warrant for his arrest.
For months final yr, Russia poured hundreds of troops into Mariupol, house to Europe’s largest metal plant, and indiscriminately bombarded town, which as soon as housed practically half 1,000,000 folks. Outnumbered and with fewer and fewer refined weapons, Ukraine’s army held on, ultimately taking shelter within the metropolis’s metal manufacturing unit. Lastly, Ukraine’s forces retreated, leaving the devastated metropolis in Russian management.
The report from the state information outlet Tass referred to the shock cease as “a working journey” for Mr. Putin to assessment building and restoration work within the metropolis.