A day after he was charged with warfare crimes by the Worldwide Legal Courtroom, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s defiant midnight propaganda tour of Mariupol drew scathing criticism from Ukraine leaders, who famous “a criminal always returns to the crime scene.”
Russian state media cherry picked optimistic response to the 70-year-old dictator’s go to to the decimated port metropolis, displaying Putin palling round with rehoused residents in his first journey to the frontlines of his nation’s 13-month lengthy unprovoked invasion.
Critics accused Putin of visiting Mariupol below the quilt of darkness to keep away from confronting the total scope of the obliteration within the totally occupied japanese metropolis, the place about 90% of its buildings have been destroyed within the first months of the warfare. Ukraine estimates 20,000 residents have been killed and 70% of town’s inhabitants was compelled to flee amid Russia’s violent land seize.
“The criminal always returns to the crime scene,” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s aide Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.
His sentiments have been echoed by Mariupol’s exiled mayor Vadym Boychenko.
“He has come in person to see what he has done,” Boychenko advised the BBC. “He’s come to see what he will be punished for.”
On the bottom, a far rosier image was painted by Kremlin propaganda, as Putin was seen driving across the metropolis whereas being briefed on rebuilding efforts by Russian officers.
“Do you live here? Do you like it?” Putin was filmed asking folks.
“Very much. It’s a little piece of heaven that we have here now,” a lady replied, as she clasped her fingers and thanked Putin for “the victory.”
“We need to start getting to know each other better,” Putin advised a gaggle of shocked residents, in line with CNN.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin accompanied Putin on his spontaneous tour of the bombed out former European industrial heart.
“The downtown has been badly damaged,” Khusnullin mentioned. “We want to finish (reconstruction) of the center by the end of the year, at least the façade part. The center is very beautiful.”
The duo additionally spoke of plans to construct a brand new hospital to interchange the youngsters’s and maternity hospital bombed whereas sufferers and employees have been inside.
“There will be an ambulance, and all the most modern laboratories will be there,” Khusnullin mentioned, in line with the report.
“Everything will be fine,” Putin responds.
Putin’s defiant go to got here as his employees mentioned the arrest warrant issued by the ICC for allegedly abducting and deporting youngsters and different Ukrainians to Russia was “null and void” and “outrageous and unacceptable.”
The Might bombing of a Mariupol theater that housed sheltering households, killing a whole bunch, was additionally tantamount to a warfare crime, human rights teams have mentioned.
Putin was topic to arrest if he stepped foot in any of the 123 nations which have signed off on the statute of The Hauge’s courtroom.
The strongman traveled to Mariupol within the illegally annexed Donetsk area by helicopter after visiting Crimea on the ninth anniversary of its occupation by Russia, in line with state media.
With Publish wires
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