Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared victory over one of the two provinces making up the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine, months into his ongoing invasion of the neighboring country.

According to a report from the Institute For The Study Of War, Putin himself appeared in the province of Luhansk Oblast to thank the military leaders stationed there for securing the city of Lysychansk, the last city in the province not under Russian control.

Putin reportedly stated that the soldiers involved in those combat operations should “rest to increase their combat capabilities.” The length of the operational pause before they move on to attack the neighboring Donetsk region is unclear, however.

Luhansk’s governor, Serihiy Haidai, released a statement on Wednesday saying that combat continued around the border of Lysychansk and the province was “not fully captured by the Russian Army.” Haidai also claimed, “some settlements have been overrun by each side several times already.”

The Donbas region has been of interest to Putin since before the country began military operations there. He stated his intent to formally decree both the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces as independent people’s republics controlled by separatist rebels in a February speech before the invasion.

Shelling has already begun in the next province, with its own regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko calling for residents to evacuate and said, “There is no safe place without shelling in the Donetsk region.”

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