DAMASCUS, November 22. /TASS/. Terrorists from the opposition’s armed groups hostile to the Syrian government continue to bombard the Russian Embassy in Damascus. A 120-mm mortar bomb exploded a few dozen meters from a concrete fence surrounding the territory of the Russian diplomatic mission during a visit by Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, to Syria’s capital. Four more mortar bombs earlier rocked the embassy’s building deafening the Russian diplomats.
"The situation is really complicated. We are literally working on the frontlines," Russian Ambassador to Syria, Alexander Kinshchak, told TASS.
The terrorist mortar fire comes from the Jobar neighborhood. Their positions are located some 1.5 kilometers from the Russian diplomatic mission’s building. This area has been controlled by militants for the past four years, and all those years the Russian embassy has virtually lived in the line of fire. The laws of war dictate their own rules: concrete fences around the perimeter, barrels and sandbags creating corridors for the employees’ movement around the yard, iron sheets instead of windows and beefed up security. The Russian servicemen - a high-alert platoon guarding the building around-the-clock - has been accommodated in the local school building.
According to the ambassador, the most staunch and dedicated employees of the Russian Foreign Ministry remain there. Several dozen diplomats are successfully protecting Russia’s interests not only in Syria but in the world as well, Kinshchak said. "Of course, we encourage our employees. Promotion, diplomatic ranks, material aspect are very significant. However, the most important thing is that the people working here are sincerely dedicated to the cause they are serving and are acutely aware of their home country’s interests. They are willing and able to stand up for them."
Moscow is doing its utmost to support its front-line employees. A professional chef was brought from Russia, who is trying to make life a little bit easier for them with his culinary masterpieces, because diplomats are working in Damascus without their families. The embassy also has a swimming pool, which was covered with a roof. Diplomats say it is now possible to use it throughout the year.
However, their existence conditions continue to be really difficult, and the work of people at the frontline over the years evokes a feeling of deep respect, the Russian ambassador said.