Russians Being Evacuated From Syria

It would seem the Kremlin is seeing the writing on the wall in Syria:

The Russian government says it is sending two planes to Lebanon to evacuate Russians from Syria, the first such effort since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad began in March 2011.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said two of its planes will fly to Beirut on Tuesday to carry more than 100 Russians from Syria.

Monday’s announcement appears to reflect Moscow’s increasing doubts about Assad’s ability to cling to power and growing concerns about the safety of its citizens.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said that it has contingency plans in place to evacuate thousands of Russians from Syria.

If this evacuation continues, one wonders if it will lead to a more laid back Russian policy toward the situation in Syria over all.


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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. John Burgess says:

    Funny… when I was first assigned to Syria in 1984, we at the US Embassy were being informally advised that we might want to wear a US flag of some sort on our clothing as we went into the souks. The Syrians were, at the time, really pissed with the Russians over something or other and Russians in civilian clothes were getting knifed in the souks. Because Americans were rarer than those from the Eastern Bloc, we didn’t want to get knifed by mistake.

  2. walt moffett says:

    Also of interest, is a report from the official Russian press of naval exercises near the Syrian coast, The four amphibs could be useful for evacuation.

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Following up on what walt moffett, above, reported, other than that there’s very little about Syria in the Russian language news media. Either NBC is reporting something that the Russian media aren’t or they’re exaggerating the significance of what’s happening.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    Either NBC is reporting something that the Russian media aren’t or they’re exaggerating the significance of what’s happening.

    I would go with the latter. Al Jazeera has a report up about this also, but it points out that the planes at best would be able to transport a couple hundred Russians out, while also pointing out…

    “Russian officials say there are tens of thousands of Russian citizens in Syria, many of them also Russian women married to Syrian men.”

    A couple of planes aren’t going to cut it.

  5. Anderson says:

    If Russia is doing this, it could mean they’re anticipating the moment when they no longer object to outside intervention by the EU or US or whomever.

    Not buying the “tens of thousands” though. You’d be tripping over Russian women in the street.

  6. rudderpedals says:

    I bet you could squeeze a dying regime into two airplanes.