Always one to yearn for the more serene days of the bi-polar global nuclear stand-off that was the Cold War, Vladimir Putin took part in a Soviet-style Victory Day parade in Crimea on Friday, replete with fighter jets, warships and a jubilant crowd.
Celebrating the "historic justice" of Russia’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula, the trip to Sevastopol marked Putin’s first visit to the region since the overthrow of Ukrainian forces in March. A larger Victory Day parade, an annual holiday in Russia, also took place in Moscow’s Red Square, alongside a similarly large show of force.
In Sevastopol, Putin boarded a boat to inspect the Russian Black Sea Fleet, cheered along by a crowd of tens of thousands, before witnessing a flyby by more than 70 military aircraft. Delivering a speech to the masses, the Russian leader hailed Crimea’s "return to the Motherland", which he described as "historical justice and the memory of our ancestors".