Three Russian cosmonauts have been pictured holding the flags of the separatist self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) at the International Space Station on Monday.
“Roscosmos and our cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov, working on the International Space Station today joined LPR head Leonid Pasechnik in congratulating on the 'new Great Victory Day,’" the Russian space agency said in a message posted on its official Telegram channel.
On July 3, the leader of the separatist self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic declared that the breakaway region in eastern Ukraine has been “liberated” with the help of the Russian forces. The Ukrainian military said on Sunday it was forced to withdraw from Lysychansk — their last holdout in the region.
“This is the long-awaited day that the residents of the occupied districts of the Luhansk region have been waiting for eight years,” Roscosmos message added.
In March, the trio of Russian cosmonauts sparked speculation after arriving at the International Space Station wearing bright yellow flight suits trimmed with blue, which some interpreted as a symbolic sign of solidarity with Ukraine.
The head of Roscosmos denied the speculation back then saying that the crew were not representing Ukraine but wearing colors from their alma mater: Bauman Moscow State Technical University.