Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station on Monday celebrated Russia’s capture of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, a significant milestone for Moscow in the war.
Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, described Moscow’s capture of the Luhansk region as “a day of liberation to celebrate both on Earth and in space”.
The agency posted photos of cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergei Korsakov smiling as they held up flags of Russia’s representatives in eastern Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic.
“This is a long-awaited day that residents of the occupied areas of the Luhansk region have been waiting for eight years,” Roscosmos wrote on the messaging app Telegram.
“We are convinced that July 3, 2022 will forever remain in the history of the Luhansk People’s Republic.”
Russia announced Sunday that Russian forces and separatists had gained full control over the Luhansk region after capturing its last major city, Lysychansk.
Ukraine, which has vowed to regain lost territory, said its troops withdrew from their last remaining stronghold in the region to save the lives of its soldiers.
Kiev said its troops would regroup to launch a counter-offensive with the help of Western long-range weapons.
After being repulsed in its initial attempt to capture the capital Kiev in February, Russia has focused on pushing Ukrainian forces out of eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Kiev since Russia’s first military intervention in Ukraine. in 2014.
Source: CNN Brasil