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Putin on a surprise visit to the occupied south and east

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The Kremlin announced on Tuesday, April 18, that Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to two regions of Ukraine occupied by Moscow, as Kiev forces prepare to launch a major spring offensive.

During this trip, the date of which has not been established, Vladimir Putin, in particular, met with the military leaders of the Kherson region (south) and in the Luhansk region (east).

sequel after announcement

Moscow claims to annex these two regions, which its forces only partially control. Even the Russian army suffered a major setback last year in Kherson, where it was forced to abandon the regional capital of the same name.

Vladimir Putin visits the scene of his “crimes”

The Ukrainian presidency denounced the Russian president’s trip and accused him of going to his places “crimes”.

This travel “Private Tour” by the Author of Mass Murders in the Occupied TerritoriesMykhaïlo Podoliak, advisor to the Ukrainian presidency, tweeted.

Shortly after Vladimir Putin’s visit was announced, Kiev reported that Russian bombing had injured six people in the city of Kherson.

sequel after announcement

This is Vladimir Putin’s second visit within a month to a Moscow-occupied region of Ukraine, the country where the Russian military has been waging a large-scale military offensive for more than a year.

Russia: A People Walking by Step explores the soul of a nation suspended by Vladimir Putin

“The Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation visited the General Staff of the Dnieper military group” in the Kherson region, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Terrestrial continuity with the Crimea

There, Vladimir Putin met with the commander of the Russian Airborne Forces, General Mikhail Teplinsky, and other senior military officials to discuss the situation in the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions.

Analysts regularly mention this area as a possible scene of an offensive next spring by Ukrainian forces, who are seeking to reclaim their Russian-occupied territories.

sequel after announcement

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The region is particularly strategic, because the territories captured by Moscow in the regions of Zaporizhia and Kherson form a continuity on land between Russia and Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014. The rupture of this land bridge would be a major setback for Moscow.

Ukrainian preparations

According to the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin extended his wishes to the soldiers on the occasion of Orthodox Easter, which was celebrated on Sunday, and offered them. “copy code”.

“It is important for me to hear your opinion on the situation, to listen to you, to exchange information”The Russian president said, according to a video released by the Kremlin.

The Russian army had abandoned Kherson, the capital of the region of the same name, in November 2022 to retreat to the other side of the Dnieper, a powerful river that today stands between the Russian and Ukrainian armies.

sequel after announcement

And in Lugansk, Vladimir Putin spoke with elements of the Russian National Guard deployed there, according to the Kremlin.

In March, he made surprise visits to Crimea (south), which Russia annexed in 2014, and Mariupol (southeast), a Ukrainian port city that the Russians captured in May 2022 after a devastating siege.

Russia suffered major military setbacks last year, particularly the failure near Kiev. It was forced to withdraw not only from the city of Kherson, but also from the Kharkiv region (northeast).

9 months of battle at Backmout

Fierce fighting is currently taking place between Russian forces and the Ukrainian army in Bakhmut (east), the center of the conflict and the scene of the longest and bloodiest battle since the start of the Russian offensive.

sequel after announcement

About nine months after the battle, two-thirds of this city was in the hands of the Russians.

According to historian Françoise Thom, “Putin is ready to go after Ukraine.”

For their part, the Ukrainian army, which in recent weeks has received heavy tanks and long-range artillery from its Western allies, has been promising for weeks to launch a new counterattack as soon as the weather permits.

Ukraine claims it has formed assault brigades and stockpiled ammunition just in case.

Kiev has not released figures, but the leader of Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, on the front line in the east, has warned that Moscow must be prepared to fend off a Ukrainian force of 200,000 to 400,000 men.

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