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Putin jumps on the ice to celebrate hockey in Sochi

Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken part in an ice hockey match between Russian amateur players and ice hockey stars, at a festival of Russia's amateur hockey.

Putin skates around the ice rink during the match. Credit: AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service

Donned in a red outfit and pads, the event was organised by the Night Hockey League near the Olympic Park in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia.

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US: Putin trip to Crimea 'provocative' and 'unnecessary'

The Obama administration has attacked Vladimir Putin over his visit to Crimea today, calling the move "provocative and unnecessary".

The Russian President visited the peninsula, annexed from Ukraine in March, to mark the anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany.

Vladimir Putin speaking at a Victory Day parade in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. Credit: Associated Press

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued a strong condemnation of the visit, saying:

"This trip is provocative and unnecessary. Crimea belongs to Ukraine and we don't recognize, of course, the illegal and illegitimate steps by Russia in that regard,"

Read: Putin visits Crimea as Russian parades mark Victory Day

Putin hails Crimea joining Russia on Victory Day visit

President Vladimir Putin has hailed the Crimea region joining Russia as he visited the area for the first time since it was annexed from Ukraine in March.

Putin delivered a speech in the city of Sevastopol and watched a parade of Russian navy ships and a flyby of Russian aircraft which marked Victory Day - the World War Two defeat of Nazi Germany.

Ukraine has condemned Putin's visit as trampling on international law and deliberately escalating the crisis.

Video: Putin attends military parade in Crimea

Vladimir Putin attends military parade in Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has attended a Victory Day parade in Sevastopol, Crimea, marking his first visit to the area since it was annexed in March.

Read: Deadly gunfighting in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine

His visit to the region is likely to outrage the West and has already been denounced by the Ukrainian government, with the foreign ministry calling it a "deliberate escalation" of the crisis.

Putin flew to Crimea after attending a military parade in Moscow, which was making the anniversary of the World War Two victory over Nazi Germany.

Pictures: Putin attends Victory Day parade in Moscow

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No Ukraine flags in sight at Donetsk Victory Day parade

A Victory Day parade celebrating the Soviet victory in World War Two is being held in Donetsk, Ukraine, but Ukrainian flags are nowhere to be seen.

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates has tweeted from Donetsk, Ukraine:

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The one flag nowhere to be seen in #Donetsk is #ukraine flag, though Ukrainian national anthem heard with respect http://t.co/Y7mDRITWTf

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Formal Victory Day ceremony over in #donetsk, separatist grabs mic to shout 'Glory to Russia'. http://t.co/u8u0qx1Bdl

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Pictures: Vladimir Putin attends Victory Day parade in Moscow

Vladimir Putin attends Victory Day parade in Moscow

A huge Victory Day parade has been held in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin praising the "iron will of the Soviet people," which saved Europe from slavery.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu salutes during the parade. Credit: REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

The military ceremony is held to mark the Soviet victory in World War Two and comes as tensions continue to rise in Ukraine with Russian nationalism high after the annexation of Crimea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shares a joke with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Credit: REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

Putin may fly to the city of Sevastopol in Crimea today to take part in the planned Victory Day parade, according to Russian media.

Russian cannons at the Kremlin wall are fired during a Victory Day parade in Red Square. Credit: AP Photo/Denis Tyrin

Read: Donetsk separatists vote to press ahead with referendum

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