Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly made a trip to Ukraine’s Kherson and Luhansk regions, Moscow-controlled areas in the southern part of the country. The purpose was apparently to hear updates on the situation from military commanders.
Though Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that the visit happened on April 17, footage that was originally posted on the Kremlin’s website appears to go against the statement. The BBC reported that the clip released reveals that Putin can be heard clearly stating that the Easter holiday is “coming up,” which happens to be celebrated in Russia on April 16.
The video of Putin that was posted on the Kremlin’s website has now reportedly been edited, including the removal of “coming up.”
In Kherson, Putin reportedly told those involved in a military meeting that he did not want to distract them, but that he felt it “is important for me to hear your opinion on how the situation is developing, to listen to you, to exchange information.”
Russian troops were forced to retreat from the city of Kherson in late 2022, but there are still parts of the region that remain under Moscow’s control. Conversely, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the frontline town of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, which is located about 43 miles southwest of Bakhmut.
In a recent Twitter post, Zelensky can be seen sitting around a table with what appear to be military personnel, enjoying Easter bread.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelensky’s office, also took to Twitter to ridicule the Russian leader, saying: “Putin’s degradation is impressive. The world waited for his statement a year ago. Now they don’t. There’s no such political actor.”
“There’s only a ‘special tour’ of the mass murders author in the occupied and ruined territories to enjoy the crimes of his minions for the last time.”
Russia’s winter offensive has not managed to have the effect that it was hoping for, with the AP reporting that the country has been combating the east and south regions of Ukraine. Though there have been small advances, they have come at a substantial cost to both sides.