Vladimir Putin in Crimea for the 9th anniversary of the annexation

Russian President Vladimir Putin (c), and Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev (l), Metropolitan of Pskov and Porkhov Tikhon Shevkunov (r) visit the Children's Art and Aesthetics Center in Sevastopol, Crimea, Saturday, March 18, 2023, on the occasion of the 9th anniversary of the annexation of Crimea. AP

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Should we see this as thumbing our noses at the West, when he has just been the subject of an international arrest warrant and accused of war crimes in Ukraine? In any case, Vladimir Putin visited Crimea on Sunday, March 18, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of the Russian annexation.


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With our correspondent in Moscow, Julian Colling

A trip that can be interpreted as a gesture of sustained support for the annexed peninsula. The visit in person of the Russian president, who has also multiplied his trips in recent weeks, comes at a time when Crimea is becoming an increasingly vital issue for the Kremlin.

Meanwhile in Kiev, Volodymyr Zelensky continues to promise his population a total recovery of the region. Various security incidents had also punctuated the apparent Crimean tranquility in recent months, including numerous drone overflights and various explosions near sensitive sites. And of course a devastating attack on the Crimean bridge.

Vladimir Putin had promised this on Friday during a meeting on the economic development of Crimea. He will do everything to "eliminate any threats".

It should also be remembered that Moscow has already injected billions of euros into the peninsula, which has become a priority to the chagrin of other Russian regions. Putin also called "reunification" with Russia a "historic choice."

On Saturday, Putin arrived according to government footage himself behind the wheel of a car, which made the local governor say he was an "incredible leader, who knows how to surprise". They then visited together a new cultural center in Sevastopol. Before leaving - in a foreign vehicle, in this case Japanese... This was noted with irony by the independent Russian channels.

Read also War in Ukraine: the ICC issues an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin

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  • Vladimir Poutine
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