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AP PHOTOS: Victory Day from Red Square to Crimea

May 9, 2014

From a massive show of military might in Red Square to a triumphant appearance in Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin was the focus of two major Victory Day celebrations Friday honoring the armed forces and millions of Russians who died in World War II.

The holiday is one of the Russia’s most important and comes this year as the country is locked in its worst crisis with the West since the end of the Cold War.

Tens of thousands packed the Crimean port of Sevastopol to watch as Putin boarded a boat to sail past a line of Russian Black Sea Fleet ships. Putin’s first trip to the Black Sea peninsula since Russia annexed it in March was criticized by both NATO and Ukraine.

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