Putin in Mariupol, the Tsar’s blitz in the liberated city: “Everything will be fine”

Putin in Mariupol, the Tsar’s blitz in the liberated city: “Everything will be fine”

Night blitz in Mariupol for Vladimir Putin. After his visit to Crimea, the Russian president met yesterday with residents of the city of Donbass liberated by the Moscow army. Driving a black jeep, wrapped in a blue jacket with a hood, the Kremlin leader arrived at the restored philharmonic hall, where the trials of Ukrainian soldiers captured in the siege of the Azovstal steelworks and exchanged for Russian soldiers took place. He then went to the brand new houses, built by the Russians after taking control of the port center overlooking the Black Sea, and met with the citizens, who took to the streets, to assure them that “everything will be fine well” and that “We need to get to know each other better”, because what happened was “because of the Nazis”.

A surprise visit to Mariupol, symbol of the Ukrainian resistance, but also to the children’s hospital in Mariupol which now, as Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin promised, will be rebuilt and “will have more modern laboratories and an ambulance”. For what was the first visit to Donbass since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Putin arrived by helicopter at Mariupol airport.

Then the tour and meeting with the townspeople conquered in May 2022. He wanted to see (and hear) the aftermath of the war on the ground. Because today Vladimir Putin will receive Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Kremlin and we will talk about how to end the war in Ukraine. Beijing unveiled a twelve-point peace plan a month ago to reach a truce, resolve the humanitarian crisis, encourage reconstruction and industrial production, lift sanctions and facilitate grain exports. Ukraine is, in fact, the «breadbasket of Europe» and the attacks have stopped grain trade, causing prices to rise. Xi Jinping will stay in Moscow for three days.

Tomorrow is the mission’s key day: the talks will take place in both narrow and broad formats. The two leaders will meet in the Kremlin’s Georgievsky Room, where last year the treaties of accession to Russia for the four Ukrainian regions annexed by referendum: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia were signed.

Immediately afterwards, Xi and Putin will move to the Negotiating Hall. The gilded halls of the Palace of Facets (Granovitaya Palata), next to the Kremlin, will be the setting for the State dinner, to which senior management from large companies was also invited. Palace with an Italian soul. It was designed by architects Marco Ruffo and Pietro Antonio Solari, who had great influence on the entire Kremlin complex. The Palace of Facets, commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1487, now serves as the Federation President’s reception hall.

It is here, after the official talks, that positions will be narrowed, corrections and “adjustments” will be made to the agreement to put an end to a war that has already killed two hundred thousand Ukrainian soldiers and more than one hundred thousand Russian soldiers in thirteen months. Xi will therefore mediate with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A video conference is planned with him. Pope Francis has also asked that we work for peace. In the spring, the Pontiff would like to visit Kiev and Moscow. But, according to the United States, “any call for a truce that may arise from the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin is unacceptable”.

Meanwhile, preparations are also underway for the gifts to be offered to the Chinese leader: they will be “not very expensive, but symbolic”, says the Kremlin. Putin is used to giving gifts with a national flavor. In 2018, Putin gave Xi a Russian sauna made from 300-year-old Altai cedars. Two years earlier, he brought a bag of Russian ice cream to Hangzhou, where the G20 summit was being held.

Source: IL Tempo