Putin visited Crimea in connection with the ninth anniversary of the annexation of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Crimea on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of Moscow’s annexation of the Black Sea Peninsula from Ukraine, despite an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court on Friday.

During an unannounced visit to the port city of Sevastopol, Putin accompanied Russian-appointed Governor Mikhail Razvozhaev visited a children’s school and an art house.

“Our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin knows how to surprise. In a good way, ”wrote Razvozhaev in the Telegram messenger. Agence France-Presse.

“But Vladimir Vladimirovich came personally. Myself. Behind the wheel. Because on such a historic day, the president is always with Sevastopol and the people of Sevastopol,” said the pro-Moscow official.

Several European countries marked the anniversary by criticizing Russia for its illegal takeover of the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.

“Nine years after the illegal annexation of Crimea [United Kingdom] continues to stand [Ukraine] against Russian aggression”, British Embassy in Kyiv tweeted. “Ukrainians suffer in Crimea: citizens do not have freedom, civilians are detained, and children are in “re-education camps”.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden confirmed which does not recognize the illegal occupation of the territory of Ukraine by Russia.

“We will continue our unwavering support for Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement.

The provocative trip came just a day after Putin’s arrest warrant was issued, the first in court against the leader of one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The court charged Putin with war crimes, including kidnapping children from Ukraine, 13 months after Russia’s bloody invasion of the neighboring country.

The court also issued an arrest warrant for Russian Children’s Ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova on the same charge.

Ukrainian officials have welcomed the announcement, which President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says reflects his country’s own investigations.

He called the warrant historic, repeating his characterization of Putin as a terrorist, the head of a terrorist state.”

Russia, however, quickly dismissed the order, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling a Dutch court’s arrest warrant for Putin “null and void.” The chances that Putin will actually appear before the ICC are slim because Moscow does not recognize the jurisdiction of the court and does not extradite its citizens.

The warrant also failed to end hostilities between Moscow and Kiev as Russia continued to shell the war-torn country on Friday and Saturday.

The Ukrainian Air Force Command wrote on Telegram that it shot down 11 of 16 drones sent by Russia “to the central, western and eastern regions” on Friday night, targeting Kiev and western Lviv region.

armed forces of Ukraine posted on facebook Early Saturday morning, in the previous 24 hours, Russia had carried out 34 airstrikes, one missile strike and 57 anti-aircraft strikes. The report notes that one of the attacks was directed at a settlement in the Kherson region, as a result of which seven houses and a kindergarten were damaged.

Separately, Turkey and the UN announced the extension of the grain export agreement between Ukraine and Russia, which was due to expire on Sunday. at least 60 daysafter several days of negotiations with the assistance of the Turkish government.

The two countries have been arguing about how long they want the deal to go on, with officials diverging in their statements about the latest extension.

Russia agreed to extend the deal for only 60 days, according to a letter from its representative to the UN, shared by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov said an extension of 120 days was granted.

The grain deal, first signed in July after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and blockade of the Black Sea, has distributed more than 25 million tons of food, helping to lower global food prices and stabilize markets, according to the UN.

With mail wires

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