Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Vladimir Putin visits in Crimea on anniversary of 2014 annexation

Russian President Vladimir Putin travelled to Crimea on Saturday, to mark the ninth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula’s annexation.

The journey comes the day after the International Criminal Court’ issued an arrest warrant for the Russian chief accusing him of conflict crimes.

Putin visited an artwork college and a youngsters’s middle, places that appeared to have been chosen in response to the court docket’s motion on Friday.

The court docket particularly accused him of bearing private accountability for the abductions of youngsters from Ukraine throughout Russia’s full-scale invasion of the neighboring nation that began nearly 13 months in the past.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a transfer that a lot of the world denounced as unlawful. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has demanded that Russia withdraw from the peninsula in addition to the areas it has occupied since final 12 months.

Putin has proven no intention of relinquishing the Kremlin’s good points. Instead, he burdened Friday the significance of holding Crimea.

“Obviously, security issues take top priority for Crimea and Sevastopol now,” he mentioned, referring to Crimea’s largest metropolis. “We will do everything needed to fend off any threats.”

Ukrainian strikes on Crimea, and Sevestopol

Sevastopol has been a goal of normal Ukrainian strikes because the begin of the Russian invasion a 12 months in the past. In January, Russian authorities mentioned air defences shot down ten Ukrainian drones out to sea, which have been heading for Sevastopol. And in October last year, a “massive” assault involving air and sea drones  reportedly focused the Black Sea Fleet, with the Russians claiming on the time it did no harm. 

Also in October, a strong blast hit the road-and-rail bridge linking Russia and the Crimean peninsula, hitting an important provide route for Russian forces in Ukraine. 

And in July final 12 months a drone attack forward of Russia’s Navy Day celebrations left 5 injured in Sevastopol, forcing authorities to cancel occasions.

In April, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet — the Moskva — was sunk by Ukrainian forces in a serious blow to Moscow.

Europe highlights Crimea anniversary

European nations have been highlighting the anniversary on Saturday, exhibiting their help for the folks of Ukraine. 

“Russia’s continued aggression violates international law and UN Charter” wrote the Finnish overseas ministry. 

“Finland does not recognise illegal annexation by Russia. We support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and efforts to restore it.” 

There was an analogous message from Sweden’s overseas ministry. 

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