Vladimir Putin visits Crimea on anniversary of Russia’s illegal 2014 annexation

Russian President Vladimir Putin travelled to Crimea on Saturday, to mark the ninth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula’s annexation.The journey comes the day after the Worldwide Legal Courtroom’ issued an arrest warrant for the Russian chief accusing him of warfare crimes.Putin visited an artwork faculty and a youngsters’s heart, areas that appeared to have been chosen in response to the court docket’s motion on Friday.The court docket particularly accused him of bearing private duty 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 yr.Putin has proven no intention of relinquishing the Kremlin’s good points. As a substitute, he harassed Friday the significance of holding Crimea.“Clearly, safety points take prime precedence for Crimea and Sevastopol now,” he mentioned, referring to Crimea’s largest metropolis. “We are going to do every little thing wanted to fend off any threats.”Ukrainian strikes on Crimea, and SevestopolSevastopol has been a goal of standard Ukrainian strikes for the reason that begin of the Russian invasion a yr in the past. In January, Russian authorities mentioned air defences shot down ten Ukrainian drones out to sea, which have been heading for Sevastopol. And in October final yr, a “huge” assault involving air and sea drones  reportedly focused the Black Sea Fleet, with the Russians claiming on the time it did no injury. Additionally in October, a strong blast hit the road-and-rail bridge linking Russia and the Crimean peninsula, hitting a vital provide route for Russian forces in Ukraine. And in July final yr a drone assault forward of Russia’s Navy Day celebrations left 5 injured in Sevastopol, forcing authorities to cancel occasions.In April, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet — the Moskva — was sunk by Ukrainian forces in a significant blow to Moscow.Europe highlights Crimea anniversaryEuropean nations have been highlighting the anniversary on Saturday, displaying their assist for the individuals of Ukraine. “Russia’s continued aggression violates worldwide regulation and UN Constitution” wrote the Finnish overseas ministry. “Finland doesn’t recognise unlawful annexation by Russia. We assist Ukraine’s territorial integrity and efforts to revive it.” There was an analogous message from Sweden’s overseas ministry.