15 May 2020 22:43

Last plane carrying Russian military from Italy lands outside Moscow

MOSCOW. May 15 (Interfax) - An Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft carrying a group of Russian military specialists, who were involved in helping Italy deal with the coronavirus epidemic, has arrived at Chkalovsky Airfield outside Moscow, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday.

"An Il-76 aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces has delivered the last group of service members and special military hardware of a Russian Defense Ministry combined unit, which was engaged in anti-epidemic efforts in Italy, to Chkalovsky Airfield," it said.

The mission helped the Russian military gain experience of coordination with their foreign counterparts, which should enable them in the future to interact more quickly and productively, it said.

"Upon returning to their permanent bases, the personnel will start servicing the hardware and replenishing supplies. They will be kept in mobile reserve and stand ready at any moment to perform their intended functions," the ministry said.

The Defense Ministry had said earlier that the last plane carried 13 Russian service members and one item of military hardware.

From March 22 to May 7, 2020, Russian Defense Ministry specialists, along with Italian military, fully disinfected elderly care homes and other facilities in about 100 communities in the province of Brescia and other parts of the Italian region of Lombardy. They sanitized 120 buildings and other structures, over 1.2 million square meters of indoor space, and over 500,000 square meters of roads.

After the deployment of a field hospital in Bergamo, Russian military healthcare professionals provided treatment to 115 patients with coronavirus infection, and 76 of them recovered and were discharged. The field hospital's personnel included 32 specialists making up eight doctor-nurse crews, who provided treatment to patients at intensive care units as well as to those in stable condition. The doctor-nurse crews worked in three shifts round the clock.