A Ukrainian presidential adviser on Sunday denounced Vladimir Putin’s “cynicism” and “lack of remorse” during his visit to the city of Mariupol, which was seized by Moscow in May 2022 after fierce fighting and heavy shelling.
“Criminals always return to the scene of their crimes… The murderer of thousands of Mariupol families came to admire the ruins of the city and its graves. Cynicism and lack of remorse,” Mykhailo Podoliak wrote on Twitter.
For its part, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the Russian president visited Marioupol at night “like a thief.”
“As if he were a thief, Putin visited the Ukrainian city of Marioupol, hiding behind the night. Firstly, it’s safer. And also, the night allows him to emphasize what he wants to show, and keeps the city his army totally destroyed and its few surviving inhabitants out of sight,” the ministry said on Twitter.
- Putin visits occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol
- Ukraine war: Bringing Russia to justice - how, when and where?
- International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Putin
The visit has been received as a show of defiance by the Russian President following an international arrest warrant was issued for him on Friday for war crimes committed in Ukraine.
The Russian leader flew to Mariupol by helicopter and took a tour of the city, driving by car, the Kremlin press service said on Sunday, quoted by Russian news agencies. It is his first trip to the Ukrainian port city.
The official reason for the trip was to take stock of the reconstruction of the city, which was left devastated by his own army's bombing after having besieged it for months, before it seized it in May 2022. Putin was presented with a report on the reconstruction work, the same source said.