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Defiant Putin visits occupied Mariupol, symbol of Ukrainian resistance - CNN

Defiant Putin visits occupied Mariupol, symbol of Ukrainian resistance - CNN

Defiant Putin visits occupied Mariupol, symbol of Ukrainian resistance - CNN
Mar 19, 2023 46 secs

It also prompted outrage from Ukraine – the defense ministry compared Putin to a “ thief” visiting “under the cover of night” – with the city having been reduced to ruins in Russia’s offensive.

Putin was flown into Mariupol by helicopter and toured districts around the city in a car, footage released by Russian authorities showed.

News of the visit comes after the ICC issued arrest warrants on Friday for Putin and Russian official Maria Lvova-Belova for an alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, who accompanied him, spoke in detail to Putin about “ongoing construction and restoration work” in the city, including its airport.

The Kremlin added that Putin held a meeting at the command post of the special military operation – Russia’s description of its invasion – in Rostov-on-Don.

Defense analysts previously told CNN that Russian forces had tried to flatten Mariupol to make the city “easier to control.”

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