‘Visibly lame’ Putin travels to Crimea on ICC warrant: Ukrainian official

Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Crimea on Saturday to celebrate the ninth anniversary of its annexation to Ukraine despite the issuance of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday for alleged war crimes in this Eastern European country.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, posted a video of Putin on Twitter, saying the Russian leader “limped visibly” during his visit.

Putin’s health has been in question in recent months, with the Russian leader’s armchair diagnoses gaining ground since the war began last year. In the past, social media users and analysts have tried to interpret footage that apparently showed him limping in Red Square, clinging to his desk and displaying a listless right arm.

“A visibly lame Putin arrived in occupied Crimea Russian sources report Putin’s visit to Sevastopol to ‘celebrate’ the anniversary of Crimea’s annexation,” Gerashchenko wrote on Saturday.

Yet Putin’s alleged health conditions did not appear to hamper or affect the course of the war in Ukraine, where the battle between his forces and Ukrainian troops has spread to major cities including Kiev, Odessa and Kherson. . More recently, fighting has intensified in Bakhmut, in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, which was the scene of a months-long battle between Russian and paramilitary forces against Ukrainian troops.

There is still no end in sight to the war, but Western nations, including the United States, continue to provide Ukraine with military and humanitarian aid. Kyiv also recently reiterated its commitment to take back Crimea, which was violently and illegally annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian media recently reported that Russian forces in the annexed Crimean peninsula may be “preparing for a possible so-called forced evacuation”. Since its annexation, Crimea has seen human rights abuses and a crackdown on dissent by Russian authorities, according to a report by Amnesty International, which is an international human rights-focused organization.

Calls to investigate Putin’s war crimes have intensified after the Russian leader declared war on Ukraine, but Friday’s ICC arrest warrant is the first official international indictment since he invaded the war-torn country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen in Moscow on Thursday. Putin traveled to Crimea on Saturday to celebrate the ninth anniversary of its annexation to Ukraine despite the issuance Friday of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes in the country of Eastern Europe.
Photo by Contributor/Getty Images

The court, which Russia does not recognize but prosecutes those accused of war crimes, accused Putin of illegally abducting and transporting Ukrainian children and teenagers to Russia, where many were adopted by Russian families. An arrest warrant has also been issued against the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.

The forced deportation of populations is recognized as a crime by the Rome Statute, which Russia signed, but from which it withdrew in 2016.

Newsweek contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry by email for comment.


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