Defence Notes

Il-76s transport Russian defence scientists to assist Italy

23rd March 2020 - 11:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sent 100 scientists and epidemiologists to Italy, along with eight medical teams to provide assistance in the country’s effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The personnel flew to Italy on nine Il-76 military transport aircraft, which took off from the military-run Chkalovsky Airport near Moscow.

In a statement on 22 March, the MoD said: ‘A group of some 100 people is ready for the flight, which consists of leading specialists of the Russian Defence Ministry in the field of virology and epidemiology, who have major international experience in fighting against the epidemic along with modern equipment for diagnosing and carrying out disinfection efforts.’

Following a conversation on 21 March with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti, Russian President Vladimir Putin committed to sending personal protective equipment and mobile aerosol disinfection systems on Kamaz trucks, as well as other medical equipment and personnel. 

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