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Ukraine protests Putin’s trip to motorcycle show in Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin drives a motorbike, right, alongside Alexander Zaldostanov, left, the head of the Night Wolves motorcycle club, during the Babylon's Shadow bike show camp near in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. The head of the Republic of Crimea, Sergei Aksenov rides in Putin's sidecar and acting Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhaev rides behind Putin.

ALEXEI DRUZHININ, SPUTNIK/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: August 11, 2019

MOSCOW — Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has protested Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Crimea, where he attended a pro-Kremlin motorcycle club’s annual festival.

The Foreign Ministry on Sunday called Putin’s trip “a crude violation by the Russian side of state sovereignty and the territorial integrity of our state.”

The Russian leader wore black leather and drove a motorcycle during the Shadow of Babylon show organized by the Night Wolves.

Putin has attended previous events put on by the motorcycle gang, which gained notoriety for its support of the Kremlin.

He told Saturday’s crowd “such manly and cool guys set an example to young people in our country and show them how they should treat Russia.”

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move that most countries view as illegal.

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