Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea on the ninth anniversary of its annexation from Ukraine.
New Delhi,UPDATED: Mar 19, 2023 07:43 IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev visit the Children’s Art and Aesthetic center, part of Chersonesos Taurica historical and archeological park in Sevastopol, Crimea, Saturday. (Photo: AP)
By India Today World Desk: A day after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of being responsible for war crimes committed in Ukraine, Putin made a surprise visit to Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula’s annexation from Ukraine.
In 2014, Crimea was taken over by Russia from Ukraine, an action that was considered unlawful by the majority of the world.
Recently, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has requested that Russia vacate both the peninsula and the regions it has taken control of since the previous year.
Putin stressed the importance of holding Crimea and said, “Obviously, security issues take top priority for Crimea and Sevastopol now,” he said, referring to Crimea’s largest city.
“We will do everything needed to fend off any threats.”
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As per Dmitry Peskov, the Presidential Spokesman, it was anticipated that Putin would participate in the cultural and historical occasion virtually, but to everyone’s surprise, he personally appeared at the location.
Putin took a plane to travel the 1,821 kilometers (1,132 miles) from Moscow to Sevastopol, where he took the wheel of the car that transported him around the city, according to Moscow-installed governor Mikhail Razvozhaev.
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Putin visited an art school and a children’s center that are part of a project to develop a historical park on the site of an ancient Greek colony, Russian state news agencies said.
Putin traditionally participates in festive events on March 18. He repeatedly attended gala concerts dedicated to this date at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, held special meetings with the public, and visited Crimea personally.
The last time Putin visited the peninsula was in July 2020. He inspected the Zaliv shipyard in the city of Kerch to take part in a keel-laying ceremony for several naval ships. In December 2022, he visited the Crimean Bridge, which was being repaired after a terrorist attack.
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