Vladimir Putin’s go to to Mariupol comes within the week that he was indicted by the Worldwide Felony Courtroom for the trafficking of youngsters to all intents and functions – and comes off the again of his go to to Crimea on Saturday for the ninth anniversary of its unlawful annexation.

This seems to be a present of power, an opportunity for Putin to point out his viewers again house that he’s undeterred and unfazed by the arrest warrant issued for war crimes.

It is all for the cameras – it is to ship a message again house that not solely is it enterprise as ordinary for him, however that he can go wherever he needs, together with into mainland Ukraine.

The Russian president has primarily been in Moscow all through this warfare.

He hasn’t gone to the frontlines actually, in distinction to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, who usually goes to the frontline to spice up the morale of his troops.

Mariupol is important for Russia as a result of it is the one massive metropolis they maintain in mainland Ukraine – it is their solely actual “victory” on this warfare of attrition.

Mariupol was additionally the scene of horrible combating this time final yr, and there are an terrible lot of allegations of warfare crimes there that Putin could properly must reply to in future as properly.

This warfare is grinding on, and all indicators from either side are that it may go on for a very long time.

However Ukraine has been decided to take again Mariupol because the day they misplaced it to Russian forces, and they’re displaying no indicators of giving up that hope.

East of Ukraine map on day 388 of the war

Learn extra:
Arrest warrant issued for Putin over alleged war crimes
What the arrest warrant really means for the Russian leader
How steelworks turned into the final outpost in the brutal battle for Mariupol

And whereas folks right here might be disturbed by what they see, waking as much as these footage of Putin strolling round Mariupol, you may argue there’s not a lot Putin does that surprises them any extra – it is the kind of factor they could anticipate from him.

I do not suppose it makes a lot distinction to them anyway: the nation stays united, they hate the warfare, however they continue to be decided to maintain combating.

And President Putin turning up in occupied territory in Ukraine shouldn’t be going to vary that, if something it is going to in all probability make them extra decided that he by no means will get to do it in future once more.

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