Putin meets top command of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine

The Kremlin released a video on Sunday (March 19) showing President Vladimir Putin meeting his top command of the military operation in Ukraine on Saturday.

Putin met the Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and the Deputy Commander of Russian military operations in Ukraine General Sergei Surovikin. General Gerasimov is the overall commander of Russian forces in Ukraine.

The meeting came after Putin traveled to Crimea on Saturday in an unannounced visit to mark the ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine, and just two days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant on Friday against Putin, accusing him of the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine, a highly symbolic move that isolates the Russian leader further.

Putin is yet to comment publicly on the ICC warrant, but some observers saw his trips into Ukrainian territory claimed by Russia as an act of defiance.