War in Ukraine, Day 131. Flag of Ukraine raised on Snake Island

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday congratulated Russian and separatist troops on the “liberation” of the entire Luhansk region (eastern Ukraine), a major milestone for Moscow in its military campaign in Ukraine, and ordered its forces to resume offensives in eastern Ukraine. Reuters AFP reported.

In a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, which was broadcast on Russian state television, Putin said troops involved in the operation to capture the Luhansk region should rest to restore their fighting skills and be replaced by other military units to continue fighting.

Russian forces must “complete their tasks according to already approved plans,” Vladimir Putin said in televised footage during a meeting with Sergei Shoigu. “I hope everything will happen in their fields as it did in Lugansk,” he added.

Putin said he would honor all those who stood out in the fight to capture the Luhansk region, promising to sign a presidential decree on Monday awarding Colonel General Alexander Lapin and the army’s deputy chief of staff the title of ‘Hero of Russia’. 8th in the Southern Federal District, Esedul Abacev, for their role in the fighting in eastern Ukraine, without further details.

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