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MOSCOW, January 9. /TASS/. Russian missile cruiser Moskva has returned to Sevastopol from the Mediterranean Sea where it was helping the Russian airbase in Syria, Black Sea Fleet spokesman Captain 1st Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachev said on Saturday.
Trukhachev reminded that the cruiser left Sevastopol on September 24 last year. It was the third time in 2015 when the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship went to the far seas.
"The cruiser’s crew was part of the Russian Navy’s group in the Mediterranean Sea and fulfilled tasks on protecting the Russian airbase Hmeimim on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic with its missile defense systems," Trukhachev stressed.
He said that Moskva was replaced in the Mediterranean Sea by a similar missile cruiser - the Varyag, flagship of the Russian Pacific Fleet.
On September 30 last year Russia’s Federation Council unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to launch a military operation in Syria against Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups. Russian Aerospace Defense Forces delivered first targeted airstrikes at militants’ positions on the same day. More than 50 jets and helicopters take part in the operation, including Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets, Su-25 aircraft, Su-30SM fighter aircraft, and Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. Since the start of the operation, Russian aviation made hundreds of sorties, destroyed dozens of ammunition depots, explosives production plants and command posts.