Russian cosmonauts wave separatist flag on ISS

Have three Russian cosmonauts waving the flag of the self-proclaimed “People’s Republic” of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine aboard the International Space Station (ISS). and congratulated the Russian troops on taking the region. “We’re celebrating both on earth and in space,” they wrote in a photo-accompanied message on the Telegram channel of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. Russian soldiers and pro-Russian separatists have taken complete control of Lysychansk, the “last big city” in the “People’s Republic” of Luhansk, said cosmonauts Oleg Artemiyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergei Korsakov. When they arrived on the ISS in March, the Russian cosmonauts attracted attention with their flight suits. With their blue and yellow color, these are reminiscent of the Ukrainian national flag.

On Sunday, after weeks of fighting, the Ukrainian army gave up defending Lysychansk. The Russian Defense Ministry had previously stated that the entire Donbass region of Luhansk had been “liberated” with the capture of the city.

“We are convinced that July 3, 2022 will forever go down in the history of the republic,” it said on the Roskosmos Telegram channel. Residents of the neighboring Donetsk “People’s Republic” were told to “wait”.

The West imposed sanctions on Russia’s space agency after President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine in February. The ISS is a joint project of the USA, Canada, Japan, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russia. The station is divided into a Russian and a US segment.

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