Live UpdateFrom the Liveblog of Sunday, March 19, 2023
Kremlin says Putin visit to Mariupol was ‘spontaneous’
The Kremlin says that President Vladimir Putin’s trip to Mariupol in Ukraine was “spontaneous” after the surprise visit to the embattled port city over the weekend.
“It was all very spontaneous,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters, referring to Putin’s first trip to the city since the conflict began last year. “Movements around the city were not planned either,” nor was his meeting with local residents, he adds.