Putin Makes Surprise Visit to Occupied Ukraine

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State media said the Russian person flew by chopper to Mariupol, tract of 1 of the bloodiest battles since Russia invaded Ukraine past year.

Vladimir Putin, successful  a classroom, wearing a acheronian  sweater, looks down   astatine  a heap  of clay he's touching. Another antheral   watches him.
President Vladimir V. Putin visiting a children’s creation halfway successful Sevastopol, Crimea, connected Saturday.Credit...Sputnik

Andrés R. Martínez

March 19, 2023, 12:02 a.m. ET

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia traveled to Mariupol, a astonishment sojourn to the Ukrainian metropolis that was the tract of 1 of the bloodiest battles since Russia invaded past year, and the closest the Russian person has been to the beforehand lines successful the east.

Mr. Putin flew by chopper from Crimea and past toured Mariupol successful Donetsk Province successful the east, according to the authorities quality outlet Tass connected Sunday.

It was Mr. Putin’s 2nd unannounced travel to Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine implicit the weekend, and was the closest the Russian person has been to the beforehand lines successful the past year. His travel connected Saturday to Crimea was timed to coincide with the ninth day of Russia’s amerciable annexation of the peninsula. The 2 high-profile visits were besides defiant gestures from the Kremlin little than 48 hours aft an planetary tribunal issued a warrant for his arrest.

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Weeks of indiscriminate Russian attacks connected Mariupol past twelvemonth devastated the metropolis successful southeastern Ukraine. Above, past period successful Mariupol.Credit...Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

For months past year, Russia poured thousands of troops into Mariupol, location to Europe’s largest alloy plant, and indiscriminately bombarded the city, which erstwhile housed astir fractional a cardinal people. Outnumbered and with less and little blase weapons, Ukraine’s subject hung on, yet taking structure successful the city’s alloy factory. Finally, Ukraine’s forces retreated, leaving the devastated metropolis successful Russian control.

The study from the authorities quality outlet Tass referred to the astonishment halt arsenic “a moving trip” for Mr. Putin to reappraisal operation and restoration enactment successful the city.

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