GROZNY, December 14. /TASS/. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov will continue his efforts aimed at Russian citizens’ evacuation from Syria and Iraq, he wrote on Telegram on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, at his annual news conference Russian President Vladimir Putin called Kadyrov’s efforts for children’s return home from trouble spots in the Middle East as "right and important" and vowed to support Chechnya’s leader.
"Russian children have been saved from trouble hot spots thanks to the Russian president. It is crucial for our country because we should understand that if we do not help our citizens to return to normal life, our enemies can use our children, our citizens against our country," Kadyrov wrote. "We will be working on Russian citizens’ evacuation from Syria and Iraq."
Over the past four months, over 90 women and children have been evacuated into Russia. They are natives of Chechnya, Dagestan, Khanty-Mansi and Tver regions, and other Russian regions. Some come from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
On Thursday, Chechnya’s Representative to the Federation Council (upper house of Russia’s parliament) Ziyad Sabsabi, a deputy chairman of the house’s foreign affairs committee, told TASS that more than 150 Russian citizens were expected to be evacuated from Syria and Iraq.
"At least 93 children and women have been returned. Over 150 people are waiting for evacuation from Syria and Iraq," he said, adding that those who had left to join fighting in the Middle East would not avoid punishment.
"They should not be put on trial abroad, but at home in line with laws of the Russian Federation," the senator said.
"The work on children’s evacuation started due to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s personal initiative, as he gives sufficient support in lots of difficult issues related to cooperation with Syrian and Iraqi authorities. The work will be continued," Sabsabi said.
Russian Presidential Children’s Rights Ombudswoman Anna Kuznetsova said that there are about 500 underage Russian citizens in the area of fighting in Syria and Iraq.
Member of Chechnya’s Human Rights Council Kheda Saratova told TASS more than 100 women and children will be evacuated to Russia from Syria and Iraq in late December.
Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his annual news conference that Chechnya’s head Ramzan Kadyrov was doing an important job of returning children from the Middle East conflict zones. Putin pointed out that support would be provided to Kadyrov in that matter.
"We expect a flight evacuating 104 women and children from Syria and Iraq to arrive before December 25. They come from Moscow, Nizhnevartovsk, Novy Urengoy, as well as from Kazakhstan, while one Chechen woman went to the Middle East from Paris. There are more than 700 people whom we have registered, they need assistance in order to return home," Saratova said.
She added that the president’s praise would give impetus to those activities. "There were rumors that many demand this work be stopped, saying that we were bringing criminals back," the Chechen Human Rights Council member noted.
As TASS reported earlier, on Thursday, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs Ziyad Sabsabi said that "more than 150 Russian citizens are awaiting to be taken out of Syria and Iraq."
According to earlier reports, over 90 women and children who come from Chechnya, Dagestan, the Khanty-Mansiysk Region, Tver Region and other Russian regions, as well as from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, were evacuated to Russia in a four-month period. However, Children’s Rights Commissioner for the Russian President Anna Kuznetsova said that around 500 underage Russian citizens remained in the battle zones in Syria and Iraq.