Russian paratroopers in Kosovo have handed over all their peacekeeping functions to ground forces, Major-General Nikolai Kriventsov, a new commander of the Russian military contingent in Kosovo, told RIA Novosti on Thursday. He noted that "there was no downgrading of peacekeeping tasks of Russian servicemen". The general said that about 200 servicemen were recommended for various state awards of the Russian Federation and more than 350 men were decorated with orders and medals for the courage and skills shown in peacekeeping operations. According to Kriventsov, Russian servicemen in the two years in Kosovo have confiscated about 760 small-arms, and detained more than a thousand people for all kinds of offences, handing over 580 of them to the international police. They defused about 12,000 explosive devices, and put out 75 fires. Russian peace-keepers helped local residents to restore 40 houses. Besides, doctors from a Russian hospital rendered medical assistance to more than 14,500 people, among them local residents, UN and KFOR staff, including servicemen from the US, France, Hungary and Ukraine. Russian doctors took delivery from almost 200 local women - Albanians and Serbs. More than 2,000 operations were performed, as well as over 11,000 medical examinations. At present, there are about 2,000 Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo.
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