Vladimir Putin has been showcasing his ice hockey skills by taking part in a game in Moscow’s Red Square.

The Russian president got kitted out in pads and helmet alongside defence minister Sergey Shoigu and veteran players Vyacheslav Fetisov and Pavel Bur.

Saturday night’s exhibition match was part of an amateur league that the president helped set up in 2011 and was played on an ice rink near the walls of the Kremlin.

TV pictures showed the president – wearing number 11 – scoring at least one goal.

“It’s a good kind of entertainment. I think this is a well-justified reason (to play hockey) ahead of the new year,” said Mr Putin.