In his first appearance since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for alleged war crimes, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea. The Russian leader walked visibly with a limp in Crimea as he inaugurated a school and art center for children. Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014, a move that was internationally condemned.
Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, shared a video on social media claiming that Vladimir Putin walked with a “visible limp” during his visit. In the video, Vladimir Putin can be seen walking alongside his aides with his head bowed as they brief him.
The visit was dubbed “reunification events” by the Kremlin and marks nine years since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. The Russian president was previously expected to join the events via videoconference, but was later seen on state television in Sevastopol, Reuters news agency reported, adding that Vladimir Putin arrived in Crimea’s largest city by car.
The visit comes just a day after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin on war crimes charges related to the alleged kidnapping of children from Ukraine, allegations denied by the Kremlin. The ICC also sued Russia’s Minister of Children, Maria Lvova-Belova, over allegations of deporting children from Ukraine to Russia. The allegations date back to February last year.
Vladimir Putin had last visited Crimea in 2020.