Vladimir donned his £2,600 Lora Piana coat as he drove a Mercedes over the partially destroyed Crimea bridge and inspected repair works that are underway.
The Kerch Bridge – which links to annexed Crimea – was blitzed in a surprise attack in October, believed to have been carried out by Ukraine as a way of cutting Russian supply lines to the peninsular.
Footage of the Russian president’s excursion was released on the same day that in Saratov region damaging two Tu-95 planes, while another air base in Ryazan was also hit in a suspected drone attack.
Analysts have said Putin, 70, is increasingly losing control of his invasion in Ukraine, which he hoped would be over in a matter of days, if not weeks.But as it has dragged on into its tenth month, his forces have been pushed back, and Ukraine has grown increasingly confident and bold in its attacks.
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Vladimir Putin (pictured third left) donned his £2,600 Lora Piana coat as he drove over the partially destroyed Crimea bridge and inspected repair works that are underway
Pictured: Putin is seen driving a Mercedes across the Kerch bridge in footage released by the Kremlin, as he inspected the damage done in an October attack, and subsequent repairs
The 12-mile road and rail bridge, which was personally opened by Putin in 2018, was bombed on October 8 in an attack Russia said was carried out by Ukraine.
Putin, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, was shown on state television behind the wheel of a Mercedes, asking questions about where the attack took place, and discussing the state of the bridge.
He was then pictured wearing his £2,600 Lora Piana coat while walking down the bridge.He previously wore the same coat marking the eighth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, with commentators noting its price as Russian wages fell due to sanctions.
‘We are driving on the right hand side,’ Putin said, as he drove across the bridge.’The left side of the bridge, as I understand it, is in working condition, but nevertheless it needs to be completed. It still suffered a little, we need to bring it to an ideal state.’
Putin also walked along parts of the bridge, Europe’s largest, to inspect sections that are still visibly scorched. He spoke to construction workers who have repaired the road and rail crossing, working round the clock, said the Kremlin.