Ukraine protests Putin’s trip to motorcycle show in Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin drives a motorbike, right, as Head of motorcycle club “Night Wolves” Alexander Zaldostanov, left, follows him during the Babylon’s Shadow bike show camp near in Sevastopol, Crimea, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksenov, is in sidecar, and acting Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhaev, rides pillion.(Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — 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 motorbike 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.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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