Russia's evacuation of Russian, Ukrainian and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) contract workers from Iraq began about 10 a.m. Moscow time Thursday with the departure of an Il-76 from Ramenskoye, outside Moscow. The announcement came from Russia's Emergencies Ministry, which is managing the operation.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry urged its nationals to leave Iraq until the situation there has been stabilized. Approximately 175 Ukrainian nationals are working in Iraq for Russia's Tekhnopromexport and Energomashexport. At the same, 20 Ukrainians working for the Russian firm Interenergoservice have indicated that they will remain in Baghdad.
Russia's plans call for three flights out of Baghdad. Another Russian plane has been directed to Kuwait. It is to pick up Russian and CIS citizens who have been working in the city of Nasiria for Russian firms. They are to be brought to Kuwait's capital by special buses.
The United States and NATO are conducting provocative activities both in airspace and waters of the Black Sea, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu said