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Facing arrest warrant, Russia’s Putin visits annexed Crimea


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KYIV, Ukraine — Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula’s annexation from Ukraine on Saturday, the day after the Worldwide Legal Court docket issued an arrest warrant for the Russian chief accusing him of conflict crimes.

Putin visited an artwork faculty and a youngsters’s heart which can be a part of a venture to develop a historic park on the location of an historical Greek colony, Russian state information companies mentioned.

The ICC accused him Friday of bearing private duty for the abductions of youngsters 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 many 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 12 months.

Putin has proven no intention of relinquishing the Kremlin’s positive aspects. As an alternative, he careworn Friday the significance of holding Crimea.

“Clearly, safety points take high precedence for Crimea and Sevastopol now,” he mentioned, referring to Crimea’s largest metropolis. “We’ll do every part wanted to fend off any threats.”

Putin took a aircraft to journey the 1,821 kilometers (1,132 miles) from Moscow to Sevastopol, the place he took the wheel of the automotive that transported him across the metropolis, in accordance with Moscow-installed governor Mikhail Razvozhaev.

The ICC’s arrest warrant was the primary issued towards a pacesetter of one of many 5 everlasting members of the U.N. Safety Council. The court docket, which relies in The Hague, Netherlands, additionally issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for Youngsters’s Rights within the Workplace of the President of the Russian Federation.

The transfer was instantly dismissed by Moscow — and welcomed by Ukraine as a serious breakthrough. Nevertheless, the possibilities of Putin going through trial on the ICC are extremely unlikely as a result of Moscow doesn’t acknowledge the court docket’s jurisdiction or extradite its nationals.

Regardless of the court docket’s motion and its implication’s for Putin, the United Nations and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan introduced Saturday {that a} wartime deal that allowed grain to stream from Ukraine to international locations in Africa, the Center East and Asia was prolonged, though neither mentioned for a way lengthy.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov tweeted that the deal had been renewed for 120 days, the interval that Ukraine, Turkey and the U.N. needed. However Russian International Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova instructed Russian information company Tass that Moscow agreed to a 60-day extension.

Russia and Ukraine are each main international suppliers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil and different reasonably priced meals merchandise that growing nations rely on. They signed separate agreements with the U.N. and Turkey final 12 months to permit meals to depart Ukraine’s blockaded ports.

Russia has complained that shipments of its fertilizers — which its deal was speculated to facilitate — are usually not attending to international markets. The nation briefly pulled out of the settlement in November earlier than rejoining and agreeing to a 120-day renewal.

In Ukraine, authorities reported widespread Russian assaults between Friday night time and Saturday morning. Writing on Telegram, the Ukrainian air drive command mentioned 11 out of 16 drones had been shot down throughout assaults that focused the capital, Kyiv, and the western Lviv province, amongst different areas.

The top of the Kyiv metropolis administration, Serhii Popko, mentioned Ukrainian air defenses shot down all drones heading for the capital. Lviv Gov. Maksym Kozytskyi mentioned Saturday that three of six drones had been shot down, with the opposite three hitting a district that borders Poland.

In response to the Ukrainian air drive, the assaults had been carried out from the jap coast of the Sea of Azov and Russia’s Bryansk province, which additionally borders Ukraine.

The Ukrainian army reported that between Friday morning and Saturday morning, Russian forces launched 34 airstrikes, one missile strike and 57 rounds of anti-aircraft fireplace. It mentioned falling particles hit southern Ukraine’s Kherson province, damaging seven homes and a kindergarten.

Russia continues to be concentrating the majority of its offensive operations in Ukraine’s industrial east, focusing assaults on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Marinka and Shakhtarsk in Ukraine’s jap Donetsk province.

Regional Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko mentioned one particular person was killed and three wounded when 11 cities and villages within the province had been shelled Friday.

Additional west, Russian rockets hit a residential space in a single day within the metropolis of Zaporizhzhia, the regional capital of the partially occupied province of the identical title. No casualties had been reported, however homes had been broken Anatoliy Kurtev of the Zaporizhzhia Metropolis Council mentioned.

British army officers mentioned Saturday that Russia was prone to increase obligatory conscription to replenish its troops preventing in Ukraine. The U.Ok. Protection Ministry mentioned in its newest evaluation that deputies within the Russian Duma, the decrease home of Russia’s parliament, launched a invoice to vary the draft ages for males to 21-30, from the present 18-27.

The ministry mentioned many Russian males ages 18-21 declare exemptions from army service as a result of they’re enrolled in larger schooling establishments. The broader age vary would imply they must serve finally. British officers mentioned the legislation would probably move and take impact in January 2024.

Comply with AP’s protection of the conflict in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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