24 February 2018
Moscow: 05:23
London: 02:23

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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

17.07.2017

“Russia has helped bring stability to Syria” Article of Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov in "the Herald" newspaper, published 14.07.2017

In October 2015, I argued against the leader comments in The Scotsman that “Russian airstrikes in Syria have heightened international tensions to new levels” and calls for “wide international pressure to stop these actions”.

Since then quite a lot has transpired, yet the UK media seems unaware of the fact that the situation in Syria has seen a positive change following the launch of Russia’s military operation. That makes me write again.
A brief reminder would be appropriate. Twenty months ago, after an ineffective 440-day long Western aerial campaign, the situation in Syria could not have been any worse. Conflicting parties did not talk, the Islamic State (IS)-held territories were vastly expanding, the Syrian capital Damascus was about to fall to the IS onslaught, and an acute refugee crisis in Europe was unfolding. It is against this background my country met the request of the Syrian government and agreed to send Russian air force and military advisers to help fight terrorists in Syria.
After the first year of the Russian aerial campaign in Syria 12,000 sq km were liberated from terrorist groups, with 586 settlements and 150 cities being freed.
1500 tons of humanitarian cargo was delivered.
Back in 2016 in the IS and Al-Nusra-controlled territories the situation was critical. Residents of Aleppo – Syria’s second largest city – were trapped by the terrorists in their homes and held as a human shield against attacks.
The Russian military risked their lives to liberate 108,076 civilians, amongst them 47,183 children, and led them to safety under heavy bombardments. Several humanitarian corridors were established in order to give the residents a safe passage from ongoing hostilities. In December 2016 the Russian military negotiated the peaceful evacuation of 28,762 combatants, amongst them 691 wounded, and their family members to be transported unharmed to Idlib province. 6,490 fighters laid down their weapons following the amnesty offered by the Syrian government.
With the help of the Russian military police the city is steadily going back to normal. 16,000 families have returned to their homes in eastern Aleppo comprising more than 69,000 people, amongst them 40,000 children. In eastern districts of Aleppo only from December 2016 to February 2017 Russian field engineers de-mined 2,956 ha, 945 km of roads, 4,500 buildings (including 90 schools, four nurseries and 25 hospitals) and defused 36,000 explosive devices.
From December 2016 to April 2017 Russian doctors provided medical aid to 12,840 civilians living in villages nearby. They conducted 742 surgical operations, half of them being of a sophisticated nature. More than 25 tons of medicines and medical equipment were provided to patients.
In the last two years IS funding has been cut dramatically as a result of the Russian aerial campaign. According to our latest data, the terrorists are experiencing a sharp decline in their monthly oil revenues, that are almost halved, from $50 million more than a year ago to $12-20 million now. Russian air forces have destroyed more than 4,000 IS petrol tankers, 206 oil production facilities, 176 oil refineries and 112 oil pumping facilities.
Let’s be honest. You would never have been aware of these numbers, if you had not read this article, would you? This information is easy to find in open sources in Russia, but who reads in Russian? So the decision was made on your behalf, that it is better for you to think that this data is irrelevant and can be ignored as Russian propaganda.
Russian involvement in the Syrian conflict after almost two years of Western “strange war” has finally laid a basis for stability and dialogue. The future of Syria should be finally in the hands of the Syrian people.

Andrey A.Pritsepov
Consul General of the Russian
Federation in Edinburgh

http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/andrey-pritsepov-russia-has-helped-bring-stability-to-syria-1-4502888

 




LATEST EVENTS

23.02.2018 - Four years since the coup in Kiev: Embassy Press Officer on the article by Boris Johnson on Crimea

Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson published an article entitled “Four years since the illegal annexation of Crimea”. It is a pity that it is not accompanied by a piece on the fourth anniversary of the coup d’état in Kiev that was backed by the UK and the West in general, and blatantly violated not only Ukraine’s Constitution, but also the agreement between President Yanukovych and the opposition mediated by Germany, France and Poland on 21 February 2014. It was precisely the forcible removal of the lawfully elected President that paved the way to power to the self-styled “government of winners”, a bizarre mix of pro-European liberals and far-right extremists, and triggered the sequence of events that resulted in Crimea re-joining Russia.


23.02.2018 - Embassy’s comment on the situation in Eastern Ghouta

Several thousand fighters are remaining in Eastern Ghouta, including those associated with terrorist organizations, primarily Jabhat al-Nusra. They are shooting at Damascus, and the intensity of those attacks is increasing every day. The population in Eastern Ghouta has been held as hostages, they are not allowed to leave the territory controlled by the terrorists. Military installations are disguised as medical facilities.


22.02.2018 - Agricultural Attache Derbenskiy took part in the Conference of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU)

On 20-21 February Vladimir Derbenskiy, Agricultural Attache of the Russian Embassy, took part in the annual NFU Conference in Birmingham on the invitation of the Union.


22.02.2018 - Embassy’s Press Officer on the situation in Eastern Ghouta

Q: Could you comment on the statement regarding the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta made by Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Commons on 21 February? A: The best way to improve the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta is for Jabhat al-Nusra fighters to withdraw. Instead, this terrorist group that controls the area constantly attacks residential areas and diplomatic facilities in Damascus, keeps civilians as hostages and uses them as a human shield. Information on civilian casualties mostly comes from Nusra-affiliated structures, which cannot be seen as impartial. Several medical evacuations have been arranged but met with refusal by the terrorists, who are preventing any attempts to negotiate a larger-scale civilian evacuation.


21.02.2018 - MFA comment on the accusations by UK against Russia of staging massive cyber attacks against Ukraine’s cyber infrastructure

A new era of information warfare against Russia is upon us. It is now alleged that Russia had something to do with the June 2017 cyber attack against Ukraine. The UK Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence have now joined the Western media in spreading these accusations. This time, however, instead of laying the blame on the anonymous and now legendary “Russian hackers,” they went as far as to accuse the Russian government. In keeping with the tradition adopted by the West in general, London failed to provide any specific facts, preferring to make groundless and exasperating statements and allusions and pretending that everything is clear even without coming up with any evidence.


20.02.2018 - DRAFT UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON COOPERATION IN COMBATING INFORMATION CRIMES



15.02.2018 - Embassy Comments on statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad

The statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad regarding Russia’s alleged responsibility for the NotPetya cyber-attack is, like many other similar accusations, not backed by any evidence. It is another example of irresponsible and hostile rhetoric of British officials towards Russia. The Embassy considers it as a part of the continuing campaign aimed at the stigmatisation of our country, that we have witnessed in the UK over the recent months.


15.02.2018 - The latest anti-Russian campaign in Western media (MFA comment)

We have noted a number of articles published by Western media in the latest campaign to denigrate Russia’s role in fighting terrorism in Syria. Here are just a few of the many examples: “Syria’s Idlib province pounded by Russian airstrikes, activists say” (The Washington Post, February 5); “Russia bombs Syria rebel strongholds after jet is shot down” (Newsweek, February 5); “Biggest airstrikes in a year hit Syria after rebels shoot down Russian jet” (The Guardian, February 6); “Devastating Russian airstrikes of retribution in Syria” (Deutsche Welle, February 5); “Russia launches an offensive after the jet is downed” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 5). These articles are obviously carbon-copies – their style and reasoning are strikingly similar. The misinformation comes down to allegations that the Russian Aerospace Forces are striking rebel strongholds in Idlib, killing civilians and damaging civilian infrastructure, including medical institutions. The Syrian Army is being groundlessly accused of using chemical weapons.


14.02.2018 - Embassy’s Press Officer on the chemical incidents in Syria

Q: Could you comment on the recent statements by a number of Western politicians and media claiming that Moscow and Damascus were responsible for the chemical weapons attacks in the course of the Syrian conflict? A: Russia is against any use of chemical weapons and is a strong supporter of chemical disarmament. In Syria we are in favour of conducting professional on-site investigations of all chemical incidents, something that has never been performed. Instead, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) relied on “evidence” provided by the self-styled activists and rescue organisations such as the White Helmets which are in fact colluding with al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.


12.02.2018 - Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veterans

On 9-11 February 2018 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medals to the Arctic Convoys veterans Mr David SIMPSON and Mr George MOON



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