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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Putin Visits Russian Metropolis Seized Throughout Wagner Mutiny


President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia traveled to the southern Russian metropolis of Rostov-on-Don to fulfill with army commanders, the Kremlin stated on Saturday, in his first publicized go to to the army hub because it was seized in June in a short-lived revolt led by the Wagner mercenary chief.

The Kremlin didn’t say when Mr. Putin visited. He met with the chief of the Russian army, Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, the Kremlin stated. Basic Gerasimov and Sergei Ok. Shoigu, the Russian protection minister, have been the first targets of criticism from Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, the pinnacle of the Wagner non-public army firm, within the lead-up to an rebellion that plunged the nation into disaster and raised questions on Mr. Putin’s management.

The go to, which appeared to happen at evening, comes as Mr. Putin continues an lively schedule of public appearances, aiming to challenge a way of authority within the days because the mutiny and amid the struggle in Ukraine. Russia’s troops have largely succeeded in holding the road in opposition to Ukrainian forces in Kyiv’s Western-backed counteroffensive, a army achievement he has praised repeatedly in public feedback.

It is usually an extra signal that Mr. Putin is sticking by his prime generals. On the similar time, the highest normal seen as closest to Mr. Prigozhin, Gen. Sergei Surovikin, nonetheless has not been seen in public because the mutiny.

Rostov-on-Don is residence to the headquarters of Russia’s Southern Navy District, a strategic command heart for Mr. Putin’s struggle in Ukraine. Mr. Prigozhin briefly took management of the headquarters earlier than his fighters started advancing towards Moscow.

The Russian state information company Tass stated that Mr. Putin had repeatedly visited the town and the command publish there, together with in March, when he additionally visited the occupied Ukrainian metropolis of Mariupol.

Individually on Saturday, Russia’s army stated it had shot down a Ukrainian missile aimed on the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. An S-200 surface-to-air missile was shot down by air protection, and there have been no accidents or harm, Russia’s Protection Ministry stated. The declare couldn’t be independently verified.

Per week earlier, Moscow stated it had shot down two missiles fired by Ukraine on the strategically important Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Crimea to Russia. Ukrainian officers, whereas circuitously confirming the assault, have stated they might proceed finishing up assaults on the peninsula and the bridge as a part of Kyiv’s efforts to focus on the Russian army’s logistical provide strains.

Of their slow-moving counteroffensive within the nation’s east, Ukrainian forces have been aiming to achieve the Sea of Azov and drive a wedge into the so-called land bridge connecting Russia and Crimea, a essential hyperlink for the Russian army’s provide routes.

Right here’s what else is going on within the struggle:

  • Zelensky Go to: President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine arrived on Saturday in Sweden, the place he stated in an announcement that he would proceed to to work on bilateral cooperation, “particularly within the protection business, the European integration of Ukraine and customary safety within the Euro-Atlantic area.”

    He added that Ukraine supported Sweden “on its manner into NATO.” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, an alliance member that had been blocking Sweden’s entry, expressed assist in July for the Nordic nation’s membership, however stated that it nonetheless wanted to take extra steps to earn the assist of the Turkish Parliament.

  • Camp David Summit: In his summit with the leaders of Japan and South Korea, President Biden recommended Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan for his nation’s assist of Ukraine. “Think about if we had carried out nothing?” the president stated. If the world had not come to Kyiv’s assist, “What sign would that ship to China about Taiwan?” Mr. Biden requested, hinting at U.S. officers’ concern concerning the prospect of China taking army motion in opposition to Taiwan.

Paul Sonne and Marc Santora contributed reporting.

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