Facing Arrest Warrant, Russian President Putin Visits Annexed Crimea

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula’s annexation from Ukraine on Saturday, the day after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Russian chief accusing him of struggle crimes.

Russian state information company RIA Novosti mentioned Putin visited an artwork faculty and a youngsters’s middle, areas that appeared to have been chosen in response to the courtroom’s motion.

The courtroom particularly accused him Friday of bearing private accountability for the abductions of kids 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 confused Friday the significance of holding Crimea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council assembly by way of a video hyperlink on the Kremlin in Moscow on March 17, 2023. (Photo by Mikhail METZEL / SPUTNIK / AFP)

MIKHAIL METZEL by way of Getty Images

“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.”

Along with the artwork faculty and kids’s middle, Putin additionally toured Putin additionally visited the archaeological website on the ruins of the traditional Greek metropolis of Chersonesos, based on Russian state media.

The ICC’s arrest warrant was the primary issued towards a pacesetter of one of many 5 everlasting members of the U.N. Security Council. The courtroom, which is predicated in The Hague, Netherlands, additionally issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for Children’s Rights within the Office of the President of the Russian Federation.

The transfer was instantly dismissed by Moscow — and welcomed by Ukraine as a significant breakthrough. Its sensible implications, nonetheless, may very well be restricted because the possibilities of Putin going through trial on the ICC are extremely unlikely as a result of Moscow doesn’t acknowledge the courtroom’s jurisdiction or extradite its nationals.

A damaged restaurant is seen after Russian shelling hit in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Saturday, March 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)
A broken restaurant is seen after Russian shelling hit in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Saturday, March 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

Widespread Russian assaults continued in Ukraine after the courtroom’s announcement. Ukraine was attacked by 16 Russian drones on Friday night time, the Ukrainian air pressure reported early Saturday.

Writing on Telegram, the air pressure command mentioned that 11 out of 16 drones had been shot down “in the central, western and eastern regions.” Among areas focused had been the capital, Kyiv, and the western Lviv province.

According to the Ukrainian air pressure, the assaults had been carried out from the japanese coast of the Sea of Azov and Russia’s Bryansk province, which borders Ukraine.

The Ukrainian navy moreover mentioned in its common replace Saturday morning that Russian forces over the earlier 24 hours launched 34 airstrikes, one missile strike and 57 rounds of anti-aircraft hearth. The Facebook replace mentioned that falling particles hit the southern Kherson province, damaging seven homes and a kindergarten.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the social and economic development of Crimea and Sevastopol via a videoconference at the Moscow's Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 17, 2023. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a gathering on the social and financial growth of Crimea and Sevastopol by way of a videoconference on the Moscow’s Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 17, 2023. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo by way of AP)

According to the Ukrainian assertion, Russia continues to be concentrating on offensive operations in Ukraine’s industrial east, focusing assaults on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Marinka and Shakhtarsk in Ukraine’s japanese Donetsk province.

Regional Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko mentioned one particular person was killed and three wounded when 11 cities and villages within the province had been shelled on Friday.

Further west, Russian rockets hit a residential space in a single day within the metropolis of Zaporizhzhia, the regional capital of the partially occupied province of the identical title. No casualties had been reported, however homes had been broken Anatoliy Kurtev of the Zaporizhzhia City Council mentioned.

The ministry mentioned that, in the mean time, many males ages 18-21 declare exemptions from navy service as a result of they’re enrolled in increased schooling establishments. The change would imply that they might ultimately nonetheless must serve. It mentioned the regulation would doubtless cross and take impact in January 2024.