Putin visits occupied Ukrainian city

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 19 Mar 2023 by Alex Teddy

On March 19 Vladimir Putin went to Mariupol as was reported by the Russian news agency TASS. This is his first visit to the port city. The city was captured in May 2022 after a bitter battle of several weeks. Russia claims the city was part of its sovereign territory. On March 18 he visited Crimea. That was the 9th anniversary of the peninsula's annexation by Russia. Most of the world still recognizes it as Ukrainian.  Russia has reacted strongly to the ICC's arrest warrant for Putin. Ukraine says that over 16,000 Ukrainian children have been abducted and taken to Russia. Fighting in Bakhmut continues. There are regular Russian drone and missile strikes on other cities. On March 17 the conscription age in Russia was changed. It is now 21 to 30. This is less objectionable to most people, plus it makes more men eligible for conscription. There are rumors of mobilization. Authorities say they are simply verifying the contact details and addresses of conscription-age men.

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