President Vladimir Putin reportedly made an unannounced working trip to Mariupol, the Black Sea port city which was liberated by Russian forces last spring amid the military operation in Ukraine, and joined Russia as part of the Donetsk People’s Republic following a referendum in September.
Putin arrived in Mariupol by helicopter and drove several districts of the city, accompanied by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, multiple Russian news agencies reported on Sunday morning, citing the president’s press service.
It was unclear when the trip took place, and the Kremlin has yet to share photos and videos of what would be Putin’s first trip to Russia’s new region. On Saturday, the head of state was Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of the peninsula’s reunification with Russia.
The city of Mariupol was liberated by Russian forces last spring amid the military operation in Ukraine. It has become one of the symbols of Russia’s military campaign, and victory there has arguably been the main triumph, so far.
In September, the Donetsk People’s Republics, which incorporates Mariupol, along with Lugansk People’s Republic and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, officially became part of the Russian Federation after holding public referendums.
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