Press Release: March 25, 2020
Russia sent the best military virologists to Italy, who at various times fought Ebola, Swine fever and anthrax
An aviation group of the Russian air force consisting of 9 IL-76 aircrafts delivered equipment and about 100 military specialists to Italy to help the Republic fight against coronavirus.
The group is headed by major General Sergey Kikot, who performed tasks to counter spread of anthrax and is considered to be one of the best specialists in Russia in the field of cutting-edge special treatment systems.
The mission also includes Lieutenant Colonel Gennady Eremin, who has experience in fighting African swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease and other disorders. He is a candidate of Medicine and a leading scientist at a research center. It is assumed that Gennady Eremin will deal with the organization and handling of anti-epidemic measures.
One of the most prominent members of the group was Vyacheslav Kulish, who is a specialist in the development of protection against biological agents of a viral nature. Scientific community knows him as an expert who took an active part in creation of a vaccine against Ebola and developed a number of anti-plague drugs. Together with his Italian colleagues, Vyacheslav Kulish will solve problems related to the implementation of special treatment and conduct anti-epidemic measures.
Alexander Yumanov, Lieutenant Colonel of the medical service, an associate Professor of the Military Medical Academy named after S. M. Kirov and candidate of medical Sciences, is also a member of this delegation. In 2019, he participated in drills of military medical services of the ASEAN member States and the dialogue partners of the “SMA plus” MEDEX-2019 format in India on anti-epidemic support in natural disasters and emergencies. Alexander Yumanov was also involved in the work of Russian military hospital in the Republic of Guinea as a part of international program to fight Ebola in this country.
Another member of the expert group is a candidate of medical Sciences, a leading epidemiologist, Colonel of medical service Alexey Smirnov, who actively participated in the development of a vaccine against Ebola.
Among the equipment delivered to Italy by the Russian authorities are coronavirus diagnostics and disinfection systems.
Italy has the most number of coronavirus-infected citizens than any other country in Europe.
As of March 23, 5,400 people have died and the total number of infected has reached 59,400. At the same time, a number of experts note that those infected with coronavirus in Russia and a number of European countries have a clear "Italian" nature of the disease.
Russia regularly sends its virologists and epidemiologists to fight diseases in other countries. In 1999, a medical hospital based on a special medical unit was sent to the Yugoslav region of Kosovo. In the shortest possible time, this hospital became the largest medical facility in Kosovo, and the UN leadership asked the Russian Defense Ministry to allow regular medical care for UN personnel in this facility. In 2004, Russian virologists provided assistance to the government of Indonesia in the aftermath of the tsunami that killed 120 thousand people and destroyed country’s the medical infrastructure. More than 2000 people were treated in the Russian hospital redeployed to Indonesia. In 2014, Russian specialists helped the Republic of Guinea defeat Ebola. As a part of Russian assistance program, a 200-bed infectious military hospital and a number of specialists in epidemiology were deployed to the African country.
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