Putin praises beautiful young woman hit with shrapnel on frontline

Vladimir Putin has admitted he was “stunned” by a “beautiful young woman” who was hit with shrapnel while on the frontline.

After awarding the journalist and fundraiser Irina Sokirko, 38, an Order of Courage in a Kremlin ceremony the Russian leader was caught on camera expressing his admiration for going where he has not dared to go.

The Kyiv-born war correspondent has helped raise almost £47 million for Putin’s invading forces, which has provided the ill-equipped men warm clothes, thermal imagers, and body armour.

READ MORE: 'World's strongest girl' who lifted 320lbs at 15 now a full-on Putin propaganda star

During the ceremony, which was watched by a crowd of propagandists and separatist officials, Putin told Sokirko: "Such a beautiful young woman – and to go there [to the frontline].

“I am looking at you, and I am stunned".

Putin has faced accusations of cowardice for sending his troops to invade Ukraine but never visiting the frontline, while even Sokirko suffered shrapnel wounds to her legs while covering the battles for Mariupol in the war.

Pro-Kremlin blogger Igor Girkin mocked Putin for holding a lavish Kremlin awards ceremony with champagne while Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky handed medals to his heroes in a bunker right on the frontline in Bakhmut before flying to the United States to visit Joe Biden, his first foreign visit since the war began.

A scathing Girkin sneered: "Who motivated their soldiers and officials to continue the battle better?

“For me, the answer is obvious.”

Sokirko stood alongside head of RT – and leading propagandist – Margarita Simonyan as Putin lauded her.

Simonyan, 42, was also awarded with an honour for her relentless anti-Ukrainian propaganda during the conflict.

Officials indicated Putin last week visited his military commanders in Rostov-on-Don, but were mocked when appearing to suggest that this Russian city was in the war zone.

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