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Russian military hands out New Year's gifts to Syrian children

January 02, 15:09 UTC+3 LATAKIA

Russian children from the Tula, Pskov, Moscow, Kazan, Orenburg and Ufa regions had collected about 10.5 tonnes of clothes, footwear, stationery, toys and candies

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LATAKIA /Syria/, January 2. /TASS/. The Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria gave to the Syrian children the New Year presents, TASS correspondent reported from the site.

Russian children from the Tula, Pskov, Moscow, Kazan, Orenburg and Ufa regions had collected about 10.5 tonnes of clothes, footwear, stationery, toys and candies. The cargo arrived in Syria onboard a military-transport aircraft.

During the New Year season, the center’s representatives every day deliver presents to children. "They [the Russian children] have sent over school books, food, including school books for learning Russia, as the Russian language is very popular here," the center’s representative Sergei Serobaba said at a Latakia school, which the Russian military were visiting.

"At this school study 94 children, whose parents or brothers died in the armed conflict. The children, of course, were happy to receive the presents. Even in the complicated time of war, children remain children, and we want to give to them at least minutes of joy," a teacher of Russian, Svetlana Krasulya, said.

Students at the Sunday school at the Church of St. John the Baptist in Latakia also received presents. The New Year sets had been prepared by students of a Sunday school at a Moscow church, as well as by a Russian organization of military veterans.

The Syrian children sang for the Russian military Christmas anthems. "Those were anthems glorifying Mary the Blessed Virgin," the church’s rector Archimandrite Macarius said. "Many children have come, despite the holiday. When they have learned the Russian military are coming, they all came here. It is very important, as the church teaches thanki9ng everyone, regardless of religion.".

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