AP PHOTOS: Victory Day from Red Square to Crimea

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Photo - Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a Victory Day Parade, which commemorates the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany, in Red Square, with St. Basil Cathedral in the background, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, May 9, 2014. Putin made no reference to the situation in Ukraine when he opened Friday's parade, focusing on the historic importance of the victory over Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a Victory Day Parade, which commemorates the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany, in Red Square, with St. Basil Cathedral in the background, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, May 9, 2014. Putin made no reference to the situation in Ukraine when he opened Friday's parade, focusing on the historic importance of the victory over Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
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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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