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Russians to be evacuated from Iraq

Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations begins evacuating Russian citizens from Iraq.

According to the Ministry's press-services, special airplane Il-76 took off for Baghdad at 9:11 am Thursday from “Ramenskoe” aerodrome. The operation is intended to pick up first group of Russian employees of “InterEnergoService.”

“The entire evacuation procedure will be conducted by means of two airplanes. The second one of them will probably depart for Iraq Friday,” noted the Ministry.

Moscow awaits the arrival of the first group of the evacuees to arrive home on May 27th at 7:50 pm MSK, stated the ministry's spokesman Sergey Vlasov to the “Echo of Moscow” radio station. “As it is expected, the airplane will deliver nearly 90 Russian specialists from Baghdad to Moscow May 27th,” said Vlasov. In addition, the ministry's spokesman informed of another flight on Friday to evacuate the rest of Russian citizens from Iraq.

12 members of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, headed by the acting head of the managing department of crises situations Andrei Legoshin, will also fly out for Baghdad. The team is expected to resolve issues concerning evacuations of Russian citizens, reports ITAR-TASS.

Managerial staff of “InterenergoService” requested Russian Ministry to evacuate Russian citizens from Iraq after another violent attack in Baghdad. Two Russians (Vyacheslav Ovsyannikov and Victor Dynkin)  were killed and 8 were wounded Wednesday near Baghdad. Six of them remain in critical condition.

According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, all wounded Russians specialists will be supervised by doctors aboard the airplane.

A total of 241 Russians are expected to leave Iraq. However, according to deputy official spokesman of the ministry  Mikhail Troyansky, there still remain several practical problems that need to be resolved before departure.

Departure of Russian specialists can be devastating for Iraqi economy. This has been reported by Iraqi Minister of Energy Aikham Al-Samarrai in his interview to the local TV channel “Al Iraqia”. Having apologized for the attack on Russian specialists from the “InterEnergoService”, the minister stated that nonetheless he intends to address the company’s managing staff with a request to leave Russian specialists in Iraq. He wants Russians to stay in the country and continue their work of reconstructing power stations in different regions of the country.

According to the minister, the attacks aimed at foreign specialists involved in reconstruction works of power stations in Iraq, “are meant to ruin national system of power supply and thus place the country’s economy in danger.”