A bravado. Vladimir Putin visited Crimea in person this Saturday, on the occasion of the 9ᵉ anniversary of the annexation of the Ukrainian province. The day before, an international arrest warrant had been issued against the Russian president, for the war crime of “illegal deportation” of Ukrainian children. The travel prospects of the master of the Kremlin have been seriously reduced with this arrest warrant, which theoretically the 123 signatory countries of the Rome Statute are likely to execute on their territory.
Vladimir Putin’s surprise trip to the peninsula was covered from start to finish by Russian state television Rossia-1. Arriving in Sevastopol, home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, the master of the Kremlin notably attended the inauguration ceremony of a school of arts for children in the company of the local governor. This city is located only 240 km from Kherson, the southern Ukrainian city taken over by the kyiv army in November after the withdrawal of Russian forces. “Our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin knows how to surprise”Governor Razvojayev ignited on Telegram, “in the good sense of that word”. According to him, the school of the arts was initially to be inaugurated by videoconference.
“But Vladimir Vladimirovich came in person. Himself. At the wheel. Because on a historic day like today, he is always with Sevastopol and its people”, continued the Russian governor of this peninsula, whose annexation by Moscow in March 2014 is not recognized by the international community. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in January that he intended to take back Crimea with arms, while Moscow continues to insist that the “Crimea is Russian”and refuses to make it the subject of possible peace negotiations.