Putin visits Crimea on anniversary of annexation
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday (March 18) made an unannounced visit to Crimea to mark ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the region from Ukraine. On his arrival in Crimea, Putin was greeted by the Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev. He was then taken to see a children’s center and art school.
“Our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin knows how to surprise. In a good way,” Razvozhayev said on messaging app Telegram.
Putin’s Crimea visit came just a day after International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against him making accusations of war crimes pertaining to deportation of children. Russia has dismissed these allegations but Putin himself is yet to make a comment on this.
Sevastopol governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said that Putin was expected to take part in opening of children’s art school via video link.
“But Vladimir Vladimirovich came in person. Himself. Behind the wheel. Because on such a historic day, the president is always with Sevastopol and the people of Sevastopol,” the Moscow-appointed official said.
State media did not broadcast any remarks from Putin immediately after his arrival in Crimea.
(With inputs from agencies)
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