Vladimir Putin, who flew to Mariupol by helicopter, drove around the city and stopped to talk to locals, according to TASS.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Mariupol, a Ukrainian town in the Donetsk region that has been occupied by Moscow forces since May last year.
Putin flew to Mariupol by helicopter and toured several parts of the city, making stops and chatting with locals, TASS reported on Sunday, citing the Kremlin.
Reports of the Mariupol visit came a day after the Russian leader traveled to Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula to Ukraine. Russian state television showed him on Saturday touring the Black Sea port city of Sevastopol, accompanied by Moscow-appointed local governor Mikhail Razvozhayev.
Russia annexed Crimea to Ukraine in 2014 following a referendum that was not recognized by Kyiv and the international community.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has demanded that Russia withdraw from the peninsula as well as areas it has occupied since last year.
Putin’s visit to Mariupol also comes after the International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Friday it had issued an arrest warrant against him and accused him of the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine.
Putin has yet to publicly comment on the mandate. The Kremlin spokesman called it “null and void” and said Russia found the very issues raised by the ICC to be “outrageous and unacceptable”.