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MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. The Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft operated by the Russian Emergencies Ministry returned to its base in the Moscow Region from a firefighting mission in Armenia on Saturday, the ministry’s press service said.
"At 20:00 (Moscow time), the Il-76 aircraft of the Russian Emergencies Ministry returned to the Moscow Region’s airfield of Ramenskoye after successfully completing its mission to extinguish wildfires in Armenia," the press service said.
Earlier on Saturday, the plane’s crew received medals from Armenian Emergencies Minister David Tonoyan.
A major fire broke out in Armenia’s Khosrov Forest State Reserve (located some 60 kilometers southeast of Yerevan) on August 12, consuming several hundred hectares. The Russian Emergencies Minsitry’s aircraft arrived in Armenia on August 14 following a request by the Armenian government and under instructions issued by the Russian government.
The crew reported that it had successfully completed the mission on August 17. The Russian pilots worked in coordination with the Armenian firefighting and rescue teams.
Thanks to the joint effort, it was possible to protect about 2,000 species of plants in the ancient republican nature reserve Khosrov Forest founded in the 4th century AD by Armenian King Khosrov III, the Russian Emergencies Ministry earlier told TASS.