A monument to two Russian military nurses, killed in a terrorist attack on a hospital in Syria, was unveiled on Thursday in the Far East city of Birobidzhan.
The monument, honoring Nadezhda Durachenko and Galina Mikhailova, was placed near the military hospital where the two women served before leaving for Syria.
“The opening of the monument to the hospital workers took place in the city Birobijan on Thursday. Relatives, military servicemen and cadets, students and as ordinary city residents attended the ceremony and paid their last respects to Nadezhda Durachenko and Galina Mikhailova.
“The honorary right to open the memorial was granted to cadets of the regional branch of the All-Russian Voluntary Society for Support of the Army, Navy and Air Force (DOSAAF)” a representative of the government of the Jewish Autonomous Region told RIA Novosti. Birobidzhan is the capital of the region which is located in the Russian Far East, close to the Pacific coast.
Nadezhda and Galina were killed in December 2015 after terrorists launched an artillery raid on a Russian military hospital in Aleppo. Shortly after the attack, chief spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov said that the United States, Britain and France were tipping off the Syrian terrorists about the hospital's location.
Both nurses were posthumously awarded the Order of Courage. Russia first deployed an air force contingent in Syria in 2015, after receiving a request for military help from the Syrian government, which continues to battle Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and affiliated terrorist groups.
Russian warplanes began launching airstrikes on terrorists in Syria on September 30, 2015. Their work has aided the Syrian military in achieving considerable success in driving jihadist forces out of the country. On March 14, 2016, President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial withdrawal of Russian forces because they had achieved all of the objectives that had been initially set for them.
In October of the same year, the Russian parliament ratified an agreement which Putin signed to keep the Russian Air Force base in Syria there on an indefinite basis. Russia has also deployed special forces and anti-aircraft systems to the area to protect the base from attack.