After its forces extensively bombed and destroyed much of Mariupol, a Ukrainian port captured by Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin made an unexpected visit to the area.
A video released by the government depicts Putin driving a car through the city streets at night and interacting with locals. According to the Kremlin, the incident took place on Saturday night.
This is thought to be the first occasion when Putin has visited a Ukrainian region that has been recently occupied by Russian forces.
Mariupol’s exiled mayor told BBC News that Mr Putin was a “criminal” who had “returned to the scene of the crime,” the BBC reported.
Former city officials from Ukraine who are in exile have stated that Putin’s visit occurred during the night to avoid seeing the ruined city in the daylight.
According to Tass news agency, Putin traveled to Mariupol via helicopter. In the footage, he is seen in the car with Marat Khusnullin, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, who discusses the reconstruction efforts underway in the city.
Written by staff