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CHKALOVSKY AIRBASE, Moscow region, April 7. /TASS/. Citizens of different countries are thanking Russia for emergency evacuation from the war-torn Yemen.
On Monday night, a fifth Russian jet delivered another 150 people fleeing the war to the Chkalovsky airbase near Moscow.
The Ilyushin-62 evacuated the citizens of Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, France, Germany, Yemen, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Iraq. There were thirty-four children among the evacuees, including five infants in the age bracket of younger than 2 and twenty-nine children three to fourteen years old.
The passengers of the jet told TASS the situation in Yemen was deteriorating from one day to another and all the hopes for improvement had proved futile. This deterioration prompted many foreigners to leave urgently.
"We contacted the German and French Foreign Ministries and they made an arrangement with the Russian embassy that a Russian jet would take us aboard," Banda Azelvi, a German national told TASS. He left Yemen together with his wife, the holder of a French passport, and children.
"We registered with the Russian embassy and then they called us and said we were expected to come to the airport," he said. "We’re to take a flight for Frankfurt already this morning."
Many evacuees who thanked the Russian authorities for assistance pointed out the efficiency of the Russian embassy in Sanaa.
"We thank Russian and Putin for taking us out of the country," Nurlus Salamov, an Uzbekistani citizen who had worked for seven years in Yemen as a physician told TASS. "Other countries didn’t offer us to leave, only Russia did."
Nationals of Ukraine, which does not have an embassy in Yemen, are also traveling home via Russia, Irina Aldahri, a native of the Dnepropetrovsk region said.
"I took my mom with me to Yemen just six months ago because I naturally didn’t know a war would begin so soon," she said. "Mom left by the previous flight and she is now in Moscow and we’ll go back to Ukraine together from here."
The trip from Sanaa to Moscow took about eight hours. After taking off at Sanaa, the jet first headed for Cairo where it made a stopover for refueling.
All the evacuees passed medical checkups, immigration and customs control at the Chkalovsky airbase. They then were taken by bus to the evacuation center of the Russian Foreign Ministry where they were awaited by diplomats from their home countries.
The evacuees who planned to continue their trips for other countries would be taken to Moscow’s international airports later.
Saudi Air Force that drew on support from the Air Forces of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates launched a major operation in the early hours of March against the Houthi rebels who had gained control over a considerable part of Yemen. Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, and Sudan joined the coalition, too.
In spite of the air strikes, the Houthi do not surrender or retreat and they are even conducting offensive operations in a number of Yemeni provinces.