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Russian cosmonauts display flag of occupied Luhansk on ISS

A message was also seen along with the pictures: "Liberation Day of the Luhansk People’s Republic! We celebrate both on Earth and in space."

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Moscow: The Russian cosmonauts who had shown their support for their invaded neighbours at the beginning of war on Ukraine with yellow and blue spacesuits have now been pictured on the International Spapce State (ISS) holding the flags of the self-proclaimed republics in Luhansk and Donetsk.

According to The Guardian, in a message posted to the official Roscosmos Telegram channel, Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov are shown holding the flags of the two occupied territories, whose occupiers are recognised as legitimate authorities only by Russia and Syria among UN member states.

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A message was also seen along with the pictures: “Liberation Day of the Luhansk People’s Republic! We celebrate both on Earth and in space.”

Meanwhile, Roscosmos said, “Roscosmos and our cosmonauts, who are working today at the International Space Station, join the congratulations of the head of the LPR, Leonid Pasechnik, on the ‘new Day of the Great Victory’.

“This is a long-awaited day that residents of the occupied areas of the Luhansk region have been waiting for eight years. We are confident that 3 July 2022 will for ever go down in the history of the republic. Citizens of the allied Donetsk People’s Republic, wait!”

However, the other crew members — Nasa’s American astronauts Jessica Watkins, Robert Hines and Kjell N Lindgren and Italian Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (ESA) — have not commented on the flag-raising.

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