(FreedomBeacon.com)- During his unexpected Saturday visit to the Donbas, Russian President Vladimir Putin stopped in Mariupol, where he met with locals and inspected Russian achievements in rebuilding the city after heavy battle with Ukrainian soldiers left much of it in ruins. This trip will be Putin’s first opportunity to assess the newly acquired territory since the 2022 special military operation started.
Mariupol, hailed by the media and leaders in NATO countries as a symbol of Ukrainian resilience before it failed and lost to Russian troops, was visited by Putin on Saturday as part of his tour to the separatist Donbas area. During a Russian ceremony commemorating Crimea’s separatist region’s takeover in 2014, the Russian President reportedly took a helicopter ride to the city and toured it in a vehicle and on foot.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to the city on Monday, where he met with inhabitants of the new housing complexes his country is constructing to replace those damaged during the conflict.
Mariupol, like the rest of the Donbas area, opted to separate from Ukraine in 2014 after a Soros-backed revolution toppled that country’s pro-Russia, elected government, contrary to what is portrayed in Western media. Nevertheless, Mariupol was retaken by the Russian military in 2015 after having been under Ukrainian control since soon after the Donbas broke apart in 2014.
A Kremlin official said President Putin’s visit to Mariupol and other military locations in the broader Donbas area was unannounced and “not arranged in advance” by the presidential administration or the Ministry of Defense.
According to this same official, Russian President Putin’s visit to the Donbas was a productive business trip that boosted the morale of Russian troops and improved the country’s military strategy. After touring Mariupol, he also visited Russian military bases to confer with his superiors about the situation on the front lines.