‘The criminal always returns to the crime scene’: Defiant Putin tours devastated Mariupol

Vladimir Putin visited the devastated Ukrainian metropolis of Mariupol, his first go to to a conquered space for the reason that begin of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, after a global arrest warrant was issued for the Russian president.

Putin flew to Mariupol by helicopter and toured the town in a automotive, the Kremlin press service mentioned Sunday, quoted by Russian information companies.

In response to video broadcast by Russian public tv, the journey passed off at evening, with Putin being proven within the streets and talking talking with residents. “We pray for you,” Putin assured one of many residents, saying the town was “just a little piece of paradise.”

The Russian chief additionally visited a reconstructed native musical theater and adopted the presentation of a report on the reconstruction works of this devastated metropolis, in keeping with the Kremlin.

That is his first journey to the Ukrainian port metropolis, which was besieged for months by Russian forces earlier than falling in Might 2022.

Ukrainian officers have slammed the go to, calling Putin an “worldwide legal”. 

“The legal all the time returns to the crime scene,” mentioned Mykhail Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

In response to the Kremlin, earlier than going to Mariupol on Saturday night, Putin additionally held a gathering in Rostov, Russia, with Russian military officers, together with Chief of Employees Valeri Guerassimov.

On Saturday he visited the port metropolis of Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea, as a part of a weekend of ‘celebrations’ marking the unlawful 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea. 

There have been occasions to mark the anniversary in St. Petersburg, in addition to Crimea itself the place the far-right Evening Wolves legal biker gang, carefully related to Vladimir Putin for a quantity years, staged a rally. 

On Friday, the Worldwide Prison Courtroom issued an arrest warrant for Putin for struggle crimes due to his alleged involvement in abductions of kids from Ukraine.

The court docket mentioned in an announcement that the Russian president is “is allegedly liable for the struggle crime of illegal deportation of inhabitants (kids) and that of illegal switch of inhabitants (kids) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

A Kremlin spokesperson referred to as the arrest warrant “outrageous and unacceptable”, and labeled the ICC’s selections as “legally void.”

The ICC mentioned that its pre-trial chamber discovered there have been “affordable grounds to imagine that every suspect bears duty for the struggle crime of illegal deportation of inhabitants and that of illegal switch of inhabitants from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian kids.” 

Greater than 16,000 Ukrainian kids have been deported to Russia for the reason that invasion started, in keeping with Kyiv, and plenty of have been positioned in establishments and foster houses.