A pro-Russian separatist leader reported that a close aide to President Vladimir Putin visited the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, apparently in a show of Russian control over the region.
Denis Pushilin posted a video of First Deputy Chief of Staff Sergei Kiriyenko on social media on Wednesday. Kiriyenko traveled in a car marked with the letter "Z" -- a symbol of Russia's military operation in Ukraine.
Pushilin said Kiriyenko met with people involved in rebuilding Mariupol and visited a school and other places.
Before Mariupol, Kiriyenko had also visited Melitopol in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region and the southern region of Kherson.