The Russian Defense Ministry clarified that Shoigu thanked the heroes for the dedication shown during the special operation to protect the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics.

“I congratulate you on these high awards, our Motherland’s high appreciation of your feat, your combat work,” he said.

In July, it was reported that Shoigu presented the Gold Star medal to the head of the Almaz-Antey East Kazakhstan concern, Yan Novikov.