Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law Thursday recognizing border guards who repel cross-border attacks from Ukraine as war veterans.
The legislation confers war veteran status to active and retired members of the security forces who “repel an armed invasion and provocations on the border and in territories adjacent to war areas in Ukraine since Feb. 24” — the date when Putin invaded Ukraine.
The same status is granted to those who had been injured during their service.
The law takes effect Thursday, Aug. 4.
Veteran status gives the holder tax and transport privileges and state assistance with accommodation and health care. War veterans also receive monthly payments from the government.
A number of attacks, some of which damaged infrastructure and claimed civilian lives, have been reported in Russia's border regions in the five months of hostilities — though Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied being behind them.
Putin recognized civilians — including doctors, technical specialists, construction workers and journalists — who have worked with Russian troops in occupied areas of Ukraine as war veterans.
The president signed a law conferring veteran status to all Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine in March.
Russia deems its invasion to be a "special military operation" and has not formally declared war.