South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Bucha and visited the mass grave behind St. Andrew's Church, where 458 civilians are buried, the presidential office reports.
According to the media, the South African leader first arrived in Kyiv, where an air raid began. As a result, he had to go down to the shelter. Despite this, the mission is proceeding "well and according to plan," the South African president's office said.
A day earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin called 2023 a special year for the development of Russia's relations with African countries.
“This year can indeed be characterized as a special one for the development of Russia's relations with the African continent. Our contacts with African countries are more intense than ever,” the Russian leader said following talks with his Algerian counterpart Abdelmajid Tebbun. The visit of the President of Algeria to Moscow, the head of the Russian state called a good confirmation of this.
Tomorrow (June 17) Putin plans to receive a delegation of heads and high-ranking representatives of African countries.
In early June, Reuters reported that South Africa was looking for ways not to arrest Vladimir Putin without violating its obligations to the International Criminal Court (ICC). This issue is facing the country's authorities because of the BRICS summit , which is due to be held in the country in August. Earlier it was expected that the Russian president would also take part in the event.
Formally, the South African authorities are obliged to arrest Putin as part of their legal obligations to the ICC, but they are clearly not ready for such a development of events.
“Because of our legal obligations, we have to arrest President Putin, but we can't do that,” said former South African President Thabo Mbeki, whose views on foreign affairs, according to Reuters, are highly influential among government officials.
In April, The New York Times wrote that Russian intelligence and the media of Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin launched a pro-Russian information campaign in Africa. As part of this initiative, according to the publication, Russian disinformation is being spread by popular African bloggers, online media, and television channels.