Kremlin claims Putin paid visit to Mariupol, marking his first trip to Donbas

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in the occupied city of Mariupol, the Kremlin reported.

It is claimed that Putin travelled to the city aboard a helicopter.

“He drove a car around several districts of the city, inspected the shoreline near a yacht club, a theatre building, and other sights,” the Kremlin noted.

Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin told Putin that new residential quarters are under construction in Mariupol along with social, educational, healthcare, and public utility facilities.

“In the Nevsky district, the head of state spoke to the locals. He was invited by a family to their home,” the Kremlin press service notes.

Russia’s RIA Novosti state news agency published footage showing Putin first driving a car and then sitting in a hall. The agency writes that Khusnullin showed a philharmonic hall to the president. “Comfortable, beautiful,” the Russian leader said.

It is impossible to immediately ascertain where the footage was recorded.

Footage from Putin's claimed trip to Mariupol

The deputy prime minister also assured the president that Mariupol residents began “coming back when they saw that the restoration works are ongoing”.

TASS, another Russian state news agency, adds that this is Putin’s first trip to Donbas.

Vladimir Putin later conducted a meeting in a military command point in Russia’s Rostov-on-Don, the Kremlin notes. The President heard reports from Russian General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov and a number of other commanders. The footage was shown on Rossiya 24 TV channel.

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On 18 March, Putin paid a visit to Crimea to mark the anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the peninsula. Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhaev accompanied the Russian leader around the chosen sights of the city.

The visit was not announced previously. RBC notes that it is Putin’s first Crimea visit since November 2021, excluding the time when the Russian leader drove across the Crimean Bridge last December.

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