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'It's all lies': Putin reportedly heckled by woman during Mariupol trip

Sunday, March 19, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin talks with local residents during his visit to Mariupol.
Sunday, March 19, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin talks with local residents during his visit to Mariupol. Copyright AP/Russian TV Pool via AP
Copyright AP/Russian TV Pool via AP
By Joshua Askew
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In the video circulating online, the Russian president's security detail can be seen desperately looking around to see where the shout came from.

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Vladimir Putin was reportedly heckled during a visit to Mariupol over the weekend, a video circulating on social media purports to show. 

In the clip, which has been widely shared online, a woman can be heard shouting "it's all lies, it's all for show" in the direction of the Russian president as he meets with a group of people, according to other media outlets.  

Euronews cannot independently verify what words are shouted. 

There is a lot of echo in the recording and the shout, which appears to come from the window of a nearby apartment, is muffled. 

Shortly after the heckle, Putin's security detail is seen frantically looking around to see where it came from. 

Putin flew to the devastated southern Ukrainian city, which was conquered by Russian forces in May, on Saturday. It was his first visit to the captured territory since the start of the invasion. 

The gritty battle for Mariupol was closely watched by the world, becoming a symbol of Ukraine's steely resistance.

Fighters in the Azovstal steel mill - the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in the city - doggedly held out against Russian troops and relentless bombardment for several weeks. 

Russia's president flew to Mariupol - in the Donbas region - by helicopter and toured the city at night, driving himself around the streets, according to the Kremlin press service. 

Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to Ukraine's Minister of Internal Affairs, alleged on Monday it was a Putin double who visited what was the country's 10th largest city.

"Which one do you think is the real one," he tweeted, posting three different photos of the Russian president which appear to have different facial structures. 

It has been claimed in the past Putin uses a body double on some public trips. 

Again Euronews cannot verify these allegations. 

In a video of the visit broadcast on Russian television, Putin is shown speaking to Mariupol residents. 

"We pray for you," he told one person, calling the city "a little piece of paradise."

Ukrainian officials criticised the visit, denouncing Putin as an "international criminal". 

On Saturday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russia's president.

He is accused of committing war crimes in Ukraine, focused on the alledged deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. 

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Britain's former NATO Representative Lord Ricketts condemned the visit as "pretty laughable". 

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “[Putin] had to go in the dead of night, nobody around, driving around deserted streets, you couldn’t see the extent of the damage and the desolation in Mariupol.”

“So it was a pretty empty propaganda exercise which won’t convince many people outside of Russia.”

Mariupol is a strategic port on the Black Sea.

It is one of the biggest ports in the region and was home to major iron and steel works, though they have been damaged in the war. 

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Ukrainian officials have reported that approximately 95% of the city was destroyed in the fighting, mostly by Russian bombardments. 

Moscow is now working hard to rebuild the ruined city, renaming many of the city's streets with Soviet monikers and displaying the Russian flag at the city's entrance.

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