Almost 14 months after the start of the invasion he ordered, Russian President Vladimir Putin has traveled to the war zone in Ukraine again, according to Kremlin sources. In the Cherson and Luhansk regions, Putin met with Russian troops fighting there, according to the statement published in Moscow on Tuesday. In Cherson in southern Ukraine, he had the situation described to him by the commander of the airborne troops, Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinsky. In Luhansk in the east, the 70-year-old chief of the Kremlin met Colonel-General Alexander Lapin and other high-ranking officers.
In addition, he gave the Russian soldiers an icon in view of the Orthodox Easter celebrations last weekend, the Kremlin said. Russian state media also released a short video purporting to show the helicopter that Putin used to travel in the occupied territories.
Not the first visit to the war zone
It was not announced exactly when the troop visit should have taken place. Putin was in Moscow at the weekend and attended an Easter service held by Patriarch Kirill.
Putin thus traveled once again to territories annexed in violation of international law after the start of the war, including Cherson and Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Donetsk. His performance in the port city of Mariupol in the Donetsk region caused quite a stir a few weeks ago. In the very first weeks of the war, Mariupol became a symbol of brutal attacks and great destruction.