Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to the military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don, accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and commander of military operations in Ukraine, Valery Gerasimov. During his visit, Putin was shown “new models of military equipment,” marking his second visit to the region in under a month. The previous visit included discussions with military officials about the ongoing “special military operation” in Ukraine. In footage of the visit, Putin can be seen being introduced to a new golf buggy, believed to be part of the new military equipment.
The visit has sparked speculation about how it will assist Russia’s military aims in Ukraine, although no specific details were disclosed. Putin’s trips outside the Kremlin are typically conducted at night for security reasons. In fact, in March, he made a nighttime visit to Mariupol, which marked his first visit to captured territory since the start of Russia’s invasion.
However, Ukraine’s defense ministry criticized the timing of Putin’s visit, stating that it “befits a thief.” The Ukrainian government has long accused Russia of aggression and interference in its affairs, particularly in the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
This surprise visit by Putin highlights the continued tensions between Russia and Ukraine. It also emphasizes Putin’s hands-on approach to military matters, as he personally inspects new military equipment. The timing and secrecy of these visits further contribute to the air of uncertainty surrounding Russia’s intentions in the region. The international community will be closely monitoring any developments that may arise from Putin’s secretive visits to military facilities in Rostov-on-Don.
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