KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — 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 Felony Courtroom issued an arrest warrant for the Russian chief accusing him of warfare crimes.

Putin visited an artwork faculty and a youngsters’s heart which can be a part of a undertaking to develop a historic park on the positioning 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 virtually 13 months in the past.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a transfer that a lot 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 yr.

Putin has proven no intention of relinquishing the Kremlin’s features. As a substitute, he harassed Friday the significance of holding Crimea.

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

Putin took a airplane to journey the 1,821 kilometers (1,132 miles) from Moscow to Sevastopol, the place he took the wheel of the automobile that transported him across the metropolis, based on Moscow-installed governor Mikhail Razvozhaev.

The ICC’s arrest warrant was the primary issued towards a frontrunner of one of many 5 everlasting members of the U.N. Safety Council. The courtroom, which is predicated 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. Nonetheless, the possibilities of Putin going through trial on the ICC are extremely unlikely as a result of Moscow doesn’t acknowledge the courtroom’s jurisdiction or extradite its nationals.

Regardless of the courtroom’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 circulate from Ukraine to nations 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 Overseas Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova instructed Russian information company Tass that Moscow agreed to a 60-day extension.

Russia and Ukraine are each main world suppliers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil and different inexpensive meals merchandise that creating nations rely upon. They signed separate agreements with the U.N. and Turkey final yr to permit meals to depart Ukraine’s blockaded ports.

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

Putin signed a regulation Saturday that imposes stiff fines for discrediting or spreading deceptive details about volunteers or mercenaries combating in Ukraine. The regulation requires a fining people 50,000 rubles ($660) for a primary offense and as much as 15 years in jail for repeated offenses.

The measure mirrors one handed within the early days of the warfare that utilized to talking negatively about troopers or the Russian navy typically.

Fighters from the Wagner Group, a non-public Russian navy firm recognized for fierce ways, have taken key roles in Ukraine, significantly in Russia’s grinding marketing campaign to grab the jap Donetsk province city of Bakhmut.

In Ukraine, authorities reported widespread Russian assaults between Friday evening and Saturday morning. Writing on Telegram, the Ukrainian air drive command mentioned 11 out of 16 drones have 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 have been shot down, with the opposite three hitting a district that borders Poland.

Based on the Ukrainian air drive, the assaults have been carried out from the jap coast of the Sea of Azov and Russia’s Bryansk province, which additionally borders Ukraine.

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

Russia remains to be concentrating the majority of its offensive operations in Ukraine’s industrial east, focusing assaults on Bakhmut and different elements of Donetsk province.

Regional Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko mentioned one individual was killed and three wounded when 11 cities and villages within the province have 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 have been reported, however homes have been broken, Anatoliy Kurtev of the Zaporizhzhia Metropolis Council mentioned.

British navy officers mentioned Saturday that Russia was more likely to broaden obligatory conscription to replenish its troops combating in Ukraine. The U.Okay. Protection Ministry mentioned in its newest evaluation that deputies within the Russian Duma, the decrease home of Russia’s parliament, launched a invoice to alter 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 navy service as a result of they’re enrolled in increased training establishments. The broader age vary would imply they must serve ultimately. British officers mentioned the regulation would doubtless move and take impact in January 2024.


Observe AP’s protection of the warfare in Ukraine:

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