After President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Bakhmut, reports appeared that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin was also at the front. However, investigative journalists are certain that it was Rostov-on-Don city.
Details: Several hours after the news about Zelenskyy being in Bakhmut, Andrey Gurulyov, Member of the Russian parliament, posted that Putin had visited "the zone of the special military operation [the official Russian way to call the war in Ukraine – ed.]".
In the evening, Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Kremlin, stated that Gurulyov’s words were supposedly true: "If he [Gurulyov] means the headquarters where he [Putin] was on Friday, then yes".
Russian investigators have looked closely at the video of Putin visiting the headquarters and made a determination that Putin was at the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don.
Quote: "A big round table from the headquarters of the Southern Military District and the room’s interior where it is located are the same as what is visible during Putin’s visit to the troops’ headquarters.
Sergey Shoigu, Minister of Defence, visited the same headquarters in November.
It was also announced that the minister was in ‘the zone of the special military operation’ that time."
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, on 20 December. He met with the Ukrainian military and gave awards to Ukrainian defenders.
- The soldiers from the ‘fortress city’ of Bakhmut handed over a flag to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy so that he could pass it on to the Western partners who are helping Ukraine with weapons.