A day after he was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s defiant midnight propaganda tour in Mariupol said “criminals always return to the crime scene” in Ukraine. was severely criticized by its leaders.
Russian state media Cherry covered positive reactions to the 70-year-old dictator’s visit to the destroyed port city, marking Putin’s first move to the front lines of his country’s 13-month unilateral aggression. The visit indicated that he had been playing with the reaccommodated residents.
Critics say Putin has turned dark to avoid facing the full scale of total destruction in the fully occupied eastern city, where about 90% of its buildings were destroyed in the war’s first months. accused of visiting Mariupol under the cover of Ukraine estimates that 20,000 residents have died and 70% of the city’s population has been displaced amid violent Russian land grabs.
“Criminals always return to the scene of the crime” Mikhail Podlyak, aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky I have written on Twitter.
His sentiments were echoed by the deposed mayor of Mariupol, Vadim Boychenko.
“He came in person to see what he had done,” Boychenko said. told the BBC“He came to see himself punished.”
On the ground, Russian government propaganda painted a much more rosy picture, as Putin was seen driving around the city and being briefed by Russian officials on the rebuilding efforts.
“Do you live here? Do you like it?” Putin was filmed asking people.
“Very. It’s a little piece of heaven we are here now,” the woman replied, clasping her hands and thanking President Putin for the “victory.”
“We need to get to know each other better,” Putin told a group of stunned residents. According to CNN.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Kusnurin accompanied President Putin on a voluntary tour of the bombed-out former European industrial center.
“Downtown is badly damaged,” said Kusnurin. “By the end of the year we hope to complete the[reconstruction]of the center, at least the façade. The center is very beautiful.”
The duo also discussed plans to build a new hospital to replace the children’s and maternity hospital that was bombed while patients and workers were inside.
“There are ambulances and all the modern laboratories are there,” Khusnullin said, according to reports.
“Everything will be fine,” Putin replies.
President Putin’s defiant visit made it clear that the arrest warrants issued by the ICC for allegedly kidnapping and deporting children and other Ukrainians to Russia by his staff were “invalid” and “outrageous and unacceptable.” ‘ was done when he said.
The May bombing of the Mariupol Theater, which housed displaced families, killed hundreds, also amounting to a war crime, human rights groups say.
Putin could be arrested if he set foot in any of the 123 countries that signed the House Court statute.
State media said the strongman flew by helicopter to Mariupol in the illegally annexed Donetsk region after visiting Crimea on the ninth anniversary of its occupation by Russia.
with post wire