Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko awarded troops with medals as he visited the eastern city of Slovyansk on Tuesday.
He was accompanied by newly appointed defence minister Valery Heletey to the city which government troops retook over the weekend.
Poroshenko and Heletey talked to soldiers and inspected a cache of arms reportedly left behind by separatists when they left the city.
Slovyansk was a major stronghold for pro-Russia insurgents until they were driven out on Saturday, forcing hundreds of militants to regroup in the regional capital, Donetsk.
It was a rare and significant victory for Ukraine, which has often appeared helpless in the face of the spreading insurgency.
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