Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin think nothing of the arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court, which accused the Russian president of “the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.” In fact, Putin decided to travel to one of the small slices of Ukraine that Russian troops (and his reportedly jilted private army) have captured. And of course, there appears to be some propaganda involved.
Putin emerged in Mariupol with the intent of putting a happy face on his incredibly deadly invasion that has now lasted over a year. Via Max Fras on Twitter, some purported “residents” awaited Putin and seemed thrilled to see him in the dead of night while a camera crew happened to be lingering nearby. One woman even apparently remarked, “This is our little piece of paradise.”
"This is our little piece of paradise" says the lady at the end
"Yes, and we will widen it" Putin replies
— Max Fras (@maxfras) March 19, 2023
As Business Insider relays, however, one clip includes a woman heckling Putin while yelling, “It’s all lies, it’s all just for show!”
In one video showing Vladimir Putin’s visit to occupied Mariupol, a woman can be heard shouting “It’s all lies, it’s all just for show!” After this, Putin’s security detail can be seen desperately looking around, presumably trying to see where the shouting came from… pic.twitter.com/B3OrEINj98
— Will Vernon (@BBCWillVernon) March 20, 2023
Business Insider further reports that the clip did emerge within Russian media and made it to airtime, but “[a] new version of the video released later was missing the heckler’s comments.” Not ideal, but it’s on brand. As well, the BBC previously reported that Mariupol’s exiled mayor, Vadym Boychenko, reacted to the visit by branding Putin as a “criminal” who decided to “return to the scene of the crime.” He sure did look satisfied, too.
(Via Business Insider)