Russia’s Putin visits Mariupol city following Crimea tour

Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited Mariupol, Russian state media reported, the Ukrainian city of Donetsk region that fell to Russian troops in May last year.
According to Russian state media, Putin flew to Mariupol by helicopter.
Driving a car, Putin travelled around several districts of the city, making stops, talking to residents, inspecting the city’s reconstruction as well as the construction of new neighbourhoods.
In the Nevsky micro-district, Putin spoke with the residents and at the invitation of one of the families, he visited their home, the state media said.
Russia’s President Putin has met with the top command of his military operation in Ukraine, state media reported, including Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov who is in charge of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.
The meeting took place at the Rostov-on-Don command post in southern Russia.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has said annulment of sanctions and lawsuits in international courts against Russia is one of the conditions for settlement in Ukraine.
In a statement on the ministry’s website, Zakharova said to achieve “sustainable peace,” it is necessary to stop supplying arms and sending mercenaries to Ukraine.
Ukraine also has to return to a neutral, non-nuclear, non-bloc status, denazified and demilitarised, all threats emanating from its territory have to be removed, and rights of Russian-speaking population should be guaranteed, she added.
“New territorial reality … should be internationally recognised. The annulment of all illegal sanctions and lawsuits against Russia in international courts should become an integral part,” she stressed.
Commenting on Ukraine’s foreign minister’s statement, promoting the country’s “formula of peace,” Zakharova said: “We are dealing with another attempt by the Ukrainian side to misinform the international community and its own citizens.”
She said Ukrainian authorities do not sit at the negotiating table, and instead move forward a “set of ultimatums,” which include the withdrawal of Russian army “even from Crimea,” and payment of reparations and surrender to international tribunals.