In his first appearance since being issued an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged war crimes, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea. The Russian leader was seen limping as he inaugurated a school and children’s arts center in Crimea. Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014, a move that was condemned internationally.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, shared a video on social media claiming that Vladimir Putin was seen “limping” during his visit. In the video, Vladimir Putin can be seen walking with his aides with their heads bowed as he briefs them.
The visit was dubbed an event of “reunification” by the Kremlin and marks nine years since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. Earlier, the Russian president was expected to take part in the events via video conference, but was later seen on state TV in Sevastopol, news agency Reuters reported, adding that Vladimir Putin had arrived in Crimea’s largest city by car. Arrived after driving.
The visit comes just a day after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin for war crimes related to the alleged abduction of children from Ukraine, charges rejected by the Kremlin. The ICC also accused Russia’s Minister for Children, Maria Lvova-Belova, of deporting children from Ukraine to Russia. The allegations date back to February last year.
Vladimir Putin last visited Crimea in 2020.