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Russia Begins Evacuating Russian Citizens from Besieged Gaza Strip

Russia has initiated the evacuation of its citizens who have been stranded in the besieged Gaza Strip. The move comes as there is increased access through the Rafah Crossing, allowing for the evacuation of civilians from the conflict zone. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, in collaboration with diplomats, has organized the evacuation, and an operational group has been working over the past week to coordinate the procedure and routes.

Two Russian Il-76 transport planes have been on standby in Cairo since last week, prepared to evacuate Russians from the Gaza Strip. Initially, approximately 600 Russian citizens were estimated to be seeking evacuation from the area. The delay in evacuation was attributed to discussions involving the United States, Israel, Egypt, and Qatar overseeing the process through the Rafah Crossing.

As of the latest reports, over 80 Russian nationals have received approval from Israel to leave Gaza, and around 60 have entered Egypt. These evacuees will be assessed by Russian emergency crews in Cairo. The Rafah Crossing, which has experienced frequent closures and occasional airstrikes, has been a point of contention, with Egypt expressing concerns about a potential influx of Palestinian refugees.

The United States has been actively evacuating its dual citizens through the Rafah Crossing, and many other countries have been working to evacuate their nationals from the conflict zone. However, the crossing has faced disruptions, with closures and strikes affecting the evacuation process. The US has been perceived as receiving priority due to its close relationship with Israel.

The situation in Gaza remains tense, and efforts to evacuate civilians are ongoing amid the complex geopolitical dynamics in the region.

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