Putin in Crimea for 9th anniversary of annexation

Vladimir Putin was in Crimea on Saturday for the 9th anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, the day after an international arrest warrant was issued against the Russian president.

This is the Kremlin mastermind’s first visit to Crimea since the outbreak of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, which earned Russia a series of severe international sanctions that were already imposed after the 2014 annexation.

Arriving in Sevastopol, the home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, Mr Putin attended the opening ceremony of a school of the arts exclusively for children in the company of local governor Mikhail Razvozyev, according to images broadcast by public television. Channel Rossiya-1.

The city is located about 240km from Kherson, a southern Ukrainian city that was retaken by Kiev’s forces after the Russian withdrawal in November, Mr Putin’s first visit to a place so close to the front Has been done. Line.

“Our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin knows how to surprise. In the good sense of the word,” Razvozyev wrote in a telegram.

According to him, a school of arts for children was to be inaugurated on Saturday through video conferencing by the Russian leader.

– “Historic Day” –

“But Vladimir Vladimirovich came personally. Himself. At the wheel. Because on a historic day like today, he is always with Sevastopol and its people,” said Mikhail Razvozyev.

“Our country has an incredible leader!” he enthused.

Russia annexed Crimea on 18 March 2014 following a referendum recognized by Kiev and the international community.

If Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said in January that he intended to take Crimea – “our land” – with arms, Moscow continued to say that “Crimea is Russian”, making it the subject of possible peace talks. Refused to make.

Vladimir Putin, whose last visit to Crimea is until November 2021, has been targeted since Friday by an arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which accuses him of the war crime of “illegal deportation” of Ukrainian Ukrainians. Children.

The Kremlin has termed the warrant “invalid and void”, whose issuance was announced on the same day Moscow and Beijing unveiled Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia next week aimed at ushering in a “new era” in Russia. Had to start. Associate.

The visit will take place from March 20 to 22, more than a year after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that prompted the Kremlin to reposition itself toward China, amid tensions with the West that Supports ‘Ukraine’.

Last month, China sought to position itself as a mediator in the Ukraine conflict by releasing a document urging Moscow and Kiev to hold peace talks.

– “Cancel action” –

On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, in a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kouleba, once again urged Kiev and Moscow to resume peace talks “as soon as possible”.

“We have repeatedly stated that we are open to really serious proposals from the West and Ukraine on solving the crisis by politico-diplomatic means,” Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, said on Saturday.

“But the language of the ultimatum is unacceptable to us,” she insisted, in particular “the lifting of all illegitimate sanctions and the cancellation of all proceedings against Russia in international judicial bodies”.

Add a Comment