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Putin visits annexed Crimea on Victory Day

By The Associated Press

This article was published May 9, 2014 at 8:13 a.m.

russian-president-vladimir-putin-flanked-by-defense-minister-sergei-shoigu-left-and-federal-security-service-chief-alexander-bortnikov-right-arrives-on-a-boat-after-inspecting-battleships-during-a-navy-parade-marking-the-victory-day-in-sevastopol-crimea-on-friday-may-9-2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin, flanked by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and Federal Security Service Chief Alexander Bortnikov, right, arrives on a boat after inspecting battleships during a navy parade marking the Victory Day in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Friday, May 9, 2014.

SEVASTOPOL, Crimea — On a triumphant visit Friday to Crimea, President Vladimir Putin hailed Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula as he celebrated Victory Day, the most important day in the Russian calendar.

Putin gave a speech in Sevastopol — it was his first trip to Crimea since the region left Ukraine and became part of Russia in March.

The Russian leader watched a parade of Russian navy ships and a flyby of Russian aircraft marking the Victory Day commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. Earlier in the day, Putin was in Moscow for a show of military muscle in the annual Red Square parade on Victory Day.

Putin made no reference to the situation in Ukraine in his speech in Moscow, which focused on the historic importance of the victory over the Nazis

Ukraine has condemned Putin's visit to Crimea as trampling on international law.

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