Russian President Vladimir Putin was heckled during his surprise visit to the occupied southeastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Sunday, just days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him.
In a video showing Putin meeting local residents, which was shared by Russian state media, a person can be heard yelling in the background: "This is not true, it’s all for show." The president's entourage quickly responds, attempting to locate the heckler.
In the same clip, a female resident refers to the nearby apartment block as "a little piece of heaven here now," to which Putin replies that they plan to expand it.
A man in the group of residents said: "We only saw you on TV so many times." Putin tells him: "We need to start getting to know each other better."
The city, the site of some of the fiercest fighting of the war and a heroic last stand by Ukrainian forces, has often been used for propaganda purposes since it was seized by Moscow last year.
Satellite images last May showed extensive excavation and the clearance of debris around the city, including at the bombed Mariupol drama theater. In the months since, Russian state media has released videos of areas that have been reconstructed, and Putin has released plans of how they will redevelop.
Reports of planned trials circulated last August after Russian media published images of cages under construction in Mariupol’s philharmonic hall, apparently intended to restrain Ukrainian prisoners of war captured during the siege of the Azovstal steel plant.
CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson has more: