Warmonger Vladimir Putin has had a dose of reality while meeting people during a visit to a bombed out city of Ukraine.
Just days after an international arrest warrant was issued, he made a surprise visit to Mariupol, which has been occupied by the invaders.
TV footage shows him out and about meeting supposedly grateful Ukrainians, but the focus has turned on a woman who was heard shouting: ‘It’s all lies, it’s all just for show.’
The heckling, which seemed to have come from a nearby building, prompted Mr Putin’s security team to begin frantically looking around trying to find the source of the disturbance.
Putin’s official visits are almost always carefully stage-managed, and this was particularly true of his trip to Mariupol, a city that was razed to the ground by his forces during a months-long siege.
Russian news agencies said that he was in the city which became a worldwide symbol of defiance after outgunned and outmanned Ukrainian forces held out in a steel mill for nearly three months.
It was eventually taken over by the Kremlin in May.
On Saturday Putin travelled to Crimea, a short distance south-west of Mariupol, to mark the ninth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula’s annexation from Ukraine.
Mr Putin arrived in Mariupol by helicopter and then drove himself around the city’s ‘memorial sites’, concert hall and coastline.
They said Mr Putin also met with residents in the city’s Nevskyi district.
His Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnulin made clear that Russia is in Mariupol to stay.
He said the government hopes to finish the reconstruction of its damaged city centre by the end of the year.
He said: ‘People have started to return. When they saw that reconstruction is underway, people started actively returning.’
When Moscow fully captured the city in May, an estimated 100,000 people remained out of a pre-war population of 450,000. Many were trapped without food, water, heat, or electricity.
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