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An Il-76 plane with rescuers aboard made a landing at Moscow Region’s airport of Ramenskoye at 3:00 pm Moscow time, spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
Russian rescuers arrived in Serbia on May 16 and started evacuating people from the flood-stricken area. Over 3,000 people, including over 600 children, have been evacuated. Russian planes airlifted over 100 tons of humanitarian aid, including foodstuffs. Medical aid was rendered to 47 injured people.
Serbian Deputy Interior Minister Predrag Maric thanked the Russian Emergencies Ministry and Russian rescuers.
“I want to express the gratitude on behalf of the Serbian people and those who observed the work of Russian rescuers. You can be proud of such selflessness,” he said.
“I want to say the Russian-Serbian humanitarian center in Nis showed its full capacity. I’m sure that nobody in Serbia will forget what you did for us,” Maric said.
Meanwhile, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic thanked Russia and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev for helping Serbia cope with the powerful floods.
“Serbia and the Serbian people will always remember Russia’s self-sacrificing and timely aid. They highly appreciate the gesture as a proof of genuine friendship between the two peoples,” he said.
“The rains that fell out in just a few days last week caused catastrophic floods. Most regions in Central and Western Serbia are under water. We have lost many human lives and suffered great material damage. Many homes, automobile roads, railways and agricultural crops were either damaged or destroyed. Cattle also died,” Vucic said.
“I’m sure that the death toll and material damage could have been much higher if it had not been for the brave members of Russian special units who did not spare their lives to save people and their property and protect them from floods. They made an invaluable contribution to our efforts to protect ourselves from the unprecedented natural disaster and minimize the damage,” he said.