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The Tass news agency reported that Vladimir Putin, who had flown to Mariupol by helicopter, drove around the city by car and stopped to talk to residents.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a business trip to Mariupol, the Ukrainian city in the Donetsk region that has been occupied by Russian forces since May last year.

On Sunday, the TASS news agency reported, citing the Kremlin, that Putin had flown to Mariupol by helicopter.

The agency said Putin drove a car and drove around several parts of the city, stopping and talking to residents.

Reports of Mariupol’s visit came a day after the Russian leader Travel to Crimea On the occasion of the ninth anniversary of the annexation of the Black Sea Peninsula from Ukraine. Russian state television showed him visiting the Black Sea port city of Sevastopol on Saturday, accompanied by Moscow-appointed local governor Mikhail Razvogayev.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 after a referendum, which was not recognized by Kiev and the international community.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Russia to withdraw from the peninsula as well as the areas it occupied since last year.

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