Day 388 since the beginning of the war: Putin visits occupied Mariupol. Russia and Ukraine extend their grain deal. All information in the news blog.
The most important things at a glance
Zelenskyi adviser on Putin: “Criminals always return to the crime scene”
4:59 p.m.: Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin’s visit to Mariupol has sparked criticism in Ukraine. “The criminal always returns to the scene of the crime,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s adviser Mykhailo Podoliak wrote on Twitter. “While the civilized world is announcing the arrest of the ‘War Director’ (…) if he oversteps its borders, the murderer of thousands of families came from Mariupol to admire the city’s ruins and tombs.” Podoljak’s conclusion: “cynicism and lack of remorse.”
According to the Kremlin, Putin visited the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Sunday. It has been under full Russian control since May 2022. Russian state television showed the 70-year-old at the wheel of a car driving through the city at night. Destroyed buildings could also be seen on the edge.
Russians protest against Putin: “No to carp”
4:34 p.m.: Demonstrations against the war are banned in Russia, violators are punished draconically. And yet there is resistance, sometimes with subtle means. An overview.
Juncker criticizes “imprudence” in the West
3:31 p.m.: Former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned against raising unrealistic expectations of Ukraine’s speedy accession to the European Union.
“I believe that Ukraine needs the prospect of accession for the given reasons, but I am very upset about the imprudence of many politicians, also acting in the West, who are promising Ukraine a quick accession. I don’t see that,” Juncker told the newspaper “Luxemburger Word”.
Juncker said it was not a “viable way” to simply accept a country that is at war and “cannot fully develop its will to reform” for overriding political reasons. “But after recent events, I think it’s highly likely that Ukraine will join the European Union in the long term.”
Wagner fighters report: “So much adrenaline”
1:47 p.m.: The Wagner group recruited tens of thousands of prisoners from Russian prisons for the fighting in Ukraine. Some now spoke about their experiences. Here you can read more about it.
Details of Putin’s visit fuel speculation
12:37 p.m.: New details raise the question of whether the real Kremlin boss or his double was in action at Vladimir Putin’s last appearances, as videos are supposed to show. Here you can read more about it.
Ukrainian secret service: Kremlin is looking for Putin’s successor
7:35 a.m.: For Russian President Vladimir Putin, the ongoing war against Ukraine could also become a personal, domestic political power problem. “The search for a successor for Putin is ongoing and it is no longer Putin himself who is doing it,” says Andriy Yusov, spokesman for the Ukrainian secret service GUR, in a recent video about the situation in the Kremlin.
Putin visits Mariupol for first time since war began
06:26: Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have visited the Russian-held port city of Mariupol for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to information from the Kremlin on Sunday, Putin flew in a helicopter to the city, which had been largely destroyed by Russian bombardments, and undertook a city tour there by car. The Kremlin boss spoke to residents of Mariupol and was informed about the reconstruction work. On Saturday, Putin visited the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of its annexation.