Russia has begun to evacuate its citizens from Syria, as its deputy prime minister stated that the West was acting in the Islamic world like “a monkey with a grenade”.
By Roland Oliphant, Moscow, Foreign Staff and agencies3:28PM BST 27 Aug 2013
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A Russian emergency situations ministry aircraft carrying aid landed in Syria on Tuesday, and is set to take Russians and other CIS citizens out of the country on its return flight.
The Ilyushin-76 jet landed at the Latakia airport with 20 tons of humanitarian aid, mostly consisting of tinned foods and sugar, a ministry spokeswoman said.
About 180 people who “have expressed a desire to leave Syria”, 100 of them Russian, are set to leave on the return flight.
Russia said it had evacuated all of its defence personnel from Syria in June, but a foreign ministry spokesman said at the time that about 30,000 other Russians were still living across the country.
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