Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited Ukraine’s new regions attached to Russia, the Kremlin announced on Tuesday, marking his second surprise visit to the country in as many months.
On Tuesday morning, the Kremlin released a three-minute video of Putin’s trip along with a brief statement indicating that he visited Russian headquarters in the regions of Kherson in the south and Luhansk in the east, where the commanders briefed him on the military situation. Putin arrived by helicopter and shook hands with military personnel before chairing a meeting.
It’s unclear when the visit took place, but the statement said Putin congratulated the military on Sunday’s Russian Orthodox Easter and presented them with icons.
The statement said he met General-Colonel Mikhail Teplinsky, head of the Russian Airborne Forces, known as the VDV, and General-Colonel Oleg Makarevich in Kherson, as well as General-Colonel Alexander Lapin in Luhansk. The trip, carried out in apparent secrecy, was announced almost exactly a month after Putin made a surprise visit to the city of Mariupol in Ukraine’s Donetsk region in mid-March.