Russia's Chief of General Staff has paid a visit to the country’s troops in Ukraine amid the ongoing military operation there, the ministry has confirmed in a statement.
“Army General Valery Gerasimov listened [to reports from] the commanders on the use of troops in the course of carrying out the tasks of a special military operation, as well as from other officials on issues related to combat support of the actions of Russian units in various areas,” the statement reads.
The announcement comes a week after the Russian military revealed the troops involved in the ongoing conflict were visited by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. The minister presented top state awards, including Gold Star medals, to soldiers “who showed heroism and dedication in performing combat missions during the special military operation.”
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.