Putin Makes Shock Go to to Occupied Ukraine

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 strains within the east.

Mr. Putin flew by helicopter from Crimea after which toured Mariupol in Donetsk Province within the east, in accordance with 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 strains 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 have been additionally defiant gestures from the Kremlin lower than 48 hours after a global courtroom issued a warrant for his arrest.

For months final yr, Russia poured 1000’s of troops into Mariupol, residence to Europe’s largest metal plant, and indiscriminately bombarded town, which as soon as housed practically half one million folks. Outnumbered and with fewer and fewer refined weapons, Ukraine’s navy held on, ultimately taking shelter within the metropolis’s metal manufacturing facility. 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 development and restoration work within the metropolis.