Ukraine blasts Putin for coming to ‘admire the ruins’ of Mariupol

© Russian television via AP

President Vladimir Putin made a surprise trip to war-ravaged Mariupol, the Kremlin said Sunday, in what marked his first trip to the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine’s Donbas region since the start of the war. Ukraine promptly slammed the visit, describing the Russian leader as "the murderer of thousands of Mariupol families". The trip came after Putin visited Crimea on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the peninsula. Read about the day’s events as they unfolded on our liveblog. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

9:38pm: Putin hails China's willingness to help settle Ukraine conflict

President Vladimir Putin on Sunday welcomed China's willingness to play a "constructive role" in ending the conflict in Ukraine, saying Sino-Russian relations were "at the highest point" in history.

His Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping heads to Russia on Monday hoping to deliver a breakthrough on Ukraine as Beijing seeks to position itself as a peacemaker.

The quality of ties between Moscow and Beijing is "higher than the political and military unions of the Cold War era", Putin said in an article written for a Chinese newspaper and published by the Kremlin on the eve of Xi's visit.

5:09pm: Three civilians killed in Russian shelling of Zaporizhzhia region

Three civilians were killed and two wounded in Russian shelling of a residential building in the southern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia on Sunday, regional officials said.

The region's military administration said Russian troops fired grad rockets at the small village of Kamyanske, which had a pre-war population of some 2,600 people.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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