The Ukrainian government on Sunday blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s surprise visit to the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said it was fitting Putin visited Mariupol under the cover of dark.
“As befits a thief, (Putin) visited Ukrainian Mariupol, under the cover of night,” the ministry wrote on Twitter.
“First, it is safer. Also, darkness allows him to highlight what he wants to show, and keeps the city his army completely destroyed and its few surviving inhabitants away from prying eyes,” it added.
Separately, Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, slammed the “cynicism” and “lack of remorse” shown by Putin’s visit.
“The criminal always returns to the crime scene,” Podolyak said on Twitter, adding “the murderer of thousands of Mariupol families came to admire the ruins of the city & graves. Cynicism & lack of remorse.”
The Kremlin has emphasized the surprise nature of Putin's visit to Mariupol overnight, with a spokesperson claiming parts of the visit were “spontaneous."
It came just days after the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Putin and Russian official Maria Lvova-Belova, stemming from an alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.