Putin Makes Unannounced Visit to Mariupol Under Russian Occupation

On March 19, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol for a working visit. This is Putin’s first trip to Donbas, the region where Russian troops took over the city of Mariupol in May 2022, after months of siege. During his visit, Putin toured various neighborhoods in the city by car, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnulin. They checked on the progress of construction and reconstruction work in and around Mariupol.

The Kremlin press office reported that Putin’s visit to Mariupol was focused on the construction of new housing units, social and educational centers, infrastructure, and medical institutions. However, the duration of his visit was not disclosed. After his visit to Mariupol, Putin met with the command of the military campaign in Ukraine in Rostov-on-Don, southern Russia.

This visit occurred a day after Putin’s surprise trip to the Crimean peninsula, marking the ninth anniversary of its annexation by Russia in 2014. During this trip, Putin visited the Korsun Art School and children’s center in Chersonese, on the outskirts of the port of Sevastopol, the main base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

The visit comes amid increasing tensions between Ukraine and Russia. The Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, followed by the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, continues to be a source of tension between the two countries. The international community has condemned Russia’s actions and imposed economic sanctions on Russia.

In conclusion, Putin’s visit to Mariupol and meeting with the military command shows that Russia is still heavily involved in the conflict in Ukraine. The visit also highlights the need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and the importance of international diplomacy to achieve this goal.

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