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Why Has Putin Named Russian Army Units After Ukrainian Cities?

News Brief

The Russian President Vladimir Putin has named several Russian Army Units after Ukrainian cities.

The official intention, according to the RBC website, is to pay tribute to their role in liberating cities in Ukraine and other countries during World War II.

But critics have condemned the move as provocative and threatening, given Russia’s continuing armed intervention in Ukraine today.

The Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine, Viktor Muzhenko, said Putin’s decision amounted to “stealing someone else’s history and glory,” and was an effort make “claims to the lands of other peoples.”

Under the decree signed by the Russian leader, units such as the 6th Tank Regiment will now be called “The Lviv Guards,” while the 68th Tank Regiment becomes “The Zhytomyr-Berlin Guards,” according to a report by the Meduza site.

Russian-backed separatists continue to occupy parts of eastern Ukraine. Although Moscow has denied being directly involved, its troops have been seen crossing over the border and operating inside Ukrainian territory.

Amidst the global attention Russia is currently receiving for hosting the World Cup, Putin’s decision is likely to be highly popular at home, where World War II is known as the “Great Patriotic War.”