“We celebrate both on Earth and in space,” they said in a message accompanied by photos of cosmonauts Oleg Artemiev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov, holding the flags of the two “republics.”
Three Russian cosmonauts today raised the flags of Luhansk and Donetsk, the two separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, aboard the International Space Station, the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced on its Telegram channel.
“We celebrate both on Earth and in space,” they said in a message accompanied by photos of cosmonauts Oleg Artemiev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov, holding the flags of the two “republics.” “Russian and Luhansk forces have taken full control of Lisitsansk, the last major city of the Luhansk People’s Republic,” they added.
And that’s the end of the International Space Station… free Ukraine 🇺🇦… #FreeUkraine.. Russian cosmonauts display flag of occupied Luhansk region on ISS https://t.co/TyVj1nSqkd
— Brian Harvey (@bjpharvey) July 4, 2022
On Sunday, Ukrainian forces announced they were withdrawing from the city, which is now under the control of the Russian army and pro-Russian separatists.
“We are sure that July 3, 2022 will forever be etched in the history of the Republic. Citizens of the allied Donetsk People’s Republic, please wait!” Roscosmos added in its post.
The capture of Lisitsansk was critical to Russia’s plan to conquer the entire Donbas basin, which has been partially controlled by the separatists since 2014.
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