Putin visits Russian-occupied Mariupol in Ukraine


Vladimir Putin, who flew to Mariupol by helicopter, drove around the city by car and stopped to talk to residents, TASS agency says.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a working trip to Mariupol, a Ukrainian city in the Donetsk region which has been occupied by Moscow’s forces since May of last year.

Putin flew to Mariupol by helicopter, the TASS agency reported on Sunday, citing the Kremlin.

Putin drove a car and travelled around several districts of the city, making stops and talking to residents, the agency said.

Reports of the Mariupol visit came a day after the Russian leader travelled to Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula’s annexation from Ukraine. Russian state TV showed him visiting the Black Sea port city of Sevastopol on Saturday, accompanied by the local Moscow-appointed governor, Mikhail Razvozhayev.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 following a referendum that was not recognised by Kyiv and the international community.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has demanded that Russia withdraw from the peninsula as well as the areas it has occupied since last year.

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