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The Russian President, Vladimir Putinarrived in Crimea this Saturday (18), the day of the ninth anniversary of the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula by Russia – announced Russian public television.

This surprise visit comes a day after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an international arrest warrant against Putin for war crimes in Ukraine.

This is the Russian president’s first visit to Crimea since the start of the offensive launched in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

After arriving in Sevastopol, on the Black Sea, Putin opened an art school for children, accompanied by the local governor, Mikhail Razvojayev, according to images broadcast on television.

“Our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin knows how to surprise. In the good sense of the word,” wrote Razvojaev in Telegram.

According to him, a children’s art school would be opened today with the participation of the Russian president via videoconference.

“But Vladimir Vladimirovich came in person. He himself. Because, on a historic day like today, he is always with Sevastopol and its inhabitants,” added Razvoyev.

anniversary of annexation

Russia annexed Crimea on March 18, 2014, after a referendum not recognized by Kiev or the international community.

Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky declared in January his intention to take back Crimea, “our land”, with weapons, but Moscow insists that “Crimea is Russian”.

Vladimir Putin, whose last visit to Crimea took place in November 2021, is the subject of an arrest warrant issued yesterday by the ICC for the deportation of children in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine. His Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Russia, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, also has an arrest warrant against her.

The president of the court, Piotr Hofmanski, declared that the arrest warrants were issued following a demand by the ICC’s General Prosecutor, the British Karim Khan, for the “alleged war crimes of deportation of children from the occupied Ukrainian territories to the Russian Federation “.

The execution of these warrants depends on “international cooperation”, he added.

The ICC did not specify how it intends to execute the arrest warrants, taking into account that Russia is not a member of that court, as Moscow recalled shortly after the decision was announced.

Russia, like a number of states, does not recognize the competence of this court and, consequently, from the point of view of law, the decisions of this court are void,” said Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday. fair.

More than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the start of the invasion. Many of them have been transferred to institutions and foster homes, according to Kiev.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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