Putin meets top command of Russia's military operation in Ukraine
The Kremlin released video on Sunday 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 operation in Ukraine General Sergei Surovikin. General Gerasimov is the overall commander of Russian forces in Ukraine.
The meeting came after Putin travelled 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 his trips into Ukrainian territory claimed by Russia was seen by some observers as an act of defiance.
His spokesman has called it "null and void," and said that Russia finds the very questions raised by the ICC to be "outrageous and unacceptable."
Putin visits Crimean art school on ninth anniversary of annexation from Ukraine
Putin arrived in Crimea on Saturday on an unannounced visit to mark the ninth anniversary of Russia's annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine.
He was greeted by the Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, and taken to see a new children's centre and art school on what the official said was a surprise visit.
'No one will dare to arrest him' - Donetsk residents react to ICC warrant for Putin
Residents of Donetsk in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine on Saturday labelled the decision by ICC to issue an arrest warrant for Russian president Vladimir Putin as "nonsense" and even predicted it would increase his popularity.
“No one would have the guts to arrest him. We will snatch him away from anyone” - said one of the residents Dmitry.
Others said that still supported him and one resident predicted many would think "the Europeans and Americans have gone crazy and the courts are corrupt.”
The ICC on Friday (March 17) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian president, accusing him of being responsible for war crimes committed in Ukraine.
Russia, which is not a party to the court, said the move was meaningless. Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces have committed atrocities during its invasion of its neighbour.