Russian Armed Forces begin Syria withdrawal with Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier

Russia has started the withdrawal of its naval group in Syria led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier after they completed their initial task.

Russia’s Armed Forces has begun with withdrawal of a Northern Fleet carrier group led by the Admiral Kuznetsov heavy carrier as a part of planned reduction of their military presence in Syria, the chief of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff said Friday.

“In accordance with the decision of Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin, the Defense Ministry is beginning to reduce the Armed Forces grouping in Syria,” Gen. Valery Gerasimov told reporters.

Gerasimov said the withdrawal begins with the Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov, the Pyotr Veliky battlecruiser and auxiliary ships. He added that the nationwide ceasefire in Syria took effect at midnight local time on December 30 (22:00 GMT on December 29). The decision to cut Russia’s military presence in the Syria was made by Putin at the recommendation of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on December 29.