Viewers were left speechless as Olympic ice skater Tatiana Navka performed a holocaust-themed routine on the Russian equivalent of Dancing on Ice.

Ms Navka is married to Dmitry Peskov, who is the official spokesman to Vladimir Putin. She has now sparked huge controversy following a dance with her partner, the television actor Andrew Burkovsjy.

The pair donned the distinctive striped pyjamas worn in death camps, with the instantly recognisable yellow Stars of David for their Saturday night performance on Ice Age. They also appeared to be wearing no make-up or pale make-up in a bid to make them look haggard.

Gold medallist

Ms Navka, who has won an Olympic gold medal and the world championships twice, and her partner started their dance with forlorn expressions before they broke into happy smiles for the rest of their performance.

They danced to the song Beautiful that Way, which was part of the soundtrack for the film Life Is Beautiful, a 1997 Italian Holocaust comedy. The judges on the show loved the dance, giving the couple the maximum score possible of four sixes. One judge said that the film was excellent and that they had managed to convey the spirit of the movie.

However, the concept has not gone down well with everyone. Angry viewers immediately took to social media to say how inappropriate they had found it.

One said: “The Nazi regime separated families put them in concentration camps killed them in gas chambers… you make a nice happy smiling dance out of it? Are [you] mad ?”

Meanwhile, another simply said: “Words cannot express how sick this is.”

Ms Navka, however, said that the dance had been based on one of her favourite movies, and was actually a tribute to victims of the holocaust. Around six million jews were killed in the genocide in Hitler’s Nazi Germany.