- Videos released by Russia’s state media show Putin driving at night in the city of Mariupol.
- The clip “did not have the optics of secure control,” a journalist said on Twitter.
- Putin’s overnight trip to the occupied city comes after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for him.
Images released on sunday by Russia’s Kremlin Pool shows Russian President Vladimir Putin visiting the bombed-out city of Mariupol in the middle of the night, just days after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest for war crimes.
In a thread on TwitterMax Seddon, Moscow bureau chief for the Financial Times, analyzed footage that appeared to show Putin driving through the streets of the occupied city in southeastern Ukraine that the Russian president’s army helped destroy. It was a “supposedly spontaneous” visit to the area “in the dead of night,” Seddon wrote.
—max seddon (@maxseddon) March 19, 2023
In a post showing a released video of Putin, Seddon notes that the Russian president “apparently drives around Mariupol incognito.”
Another image appears to show Putin visiting a local apartment, “watch how…the people who live in this apartment set up a whole table of food for Putin, like he’s Santa Claus and he just shows up unannounced,” Seddon wrote, questioning the potentially pre-established nature. to stops along your route of the besieged city.
—Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) March 19, 2023
Yaroslav Trofimov, chief foreign affairs correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, noted on Twitter, that Putin’s visit “at night, in the dark, driving through empty streets” “was not exactly the optics of confident control.”
In the video of Putin’s overnight trip, he speaks with Marat Khusnullin, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, who tells him about plans to rebuild the city. Putin is told that he views the city without propaganda or selective selection, according to the Russian’s caption. publication of state media telegrams.
Putin’s first visit to the Donbas region also included meetings with locals who said they were “praying for him” and a tour of the restored Mariupol Philharmonic, state media videos show.
of putin tour of occupied ukraine began with a trip to the Crimea, which was timed to coincide with the ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the region in 2014Insider previously reported.
The siege of Mariupol began on February 24, 2022 and lasted until May 20 as part of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ammunition has left its mark on almost every building throughout the city’s 64 square miles, reported The Times of Israel.