Here’s the first video of the Russian combat planes leaving Syria

The first group of Russian aircraft redeploying to Russia after Syria air war has left ‪‎Hmeymim‬ airbase.

On Mar. 15, the Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei ‪‎Shoigu‬ ordered to redeploy a large part of the the Russian Aerspace Forces contingent deployed to Syria to fight terrorists.

The redeploy order saw technical staff at Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia, started preparing aircraft for the long-range flight to airfields located in mainland Russia: the aircraft, first of all Su-34multidimensional bombers” (this is definition used by the Russia’s MoD) based on the footage released so far, are returning home with long-range flight (more than 5,000 km), inflight refueling and intermediate flight stops at the Russian Federation airfields.

The redeployment is supported by a Tu-154 or an Il-76, acting as “leader” of the formation made by the transport plane and the Russian warplanes transporting engineering and technical personnel, and logistics items.

The formation follows the assigned route over Iraq, Iran and the Caspian Sea, until it reaches the border of the Russian Federation where all the aircraft split the formation to reach their destinations independently.

According to the Russian MoD the first group of Su-34 bombers earlier today has already arrived at the military airfield of the Western military district in the #Voronezh region; before landing, the aircraft performed a celebratory fly over at low altitudes over the military airfield.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. The order to recall most of the fighters, and bombers stationed at
    Khmeimim is another masterstroke of russian diplomacy, by keeping their
    western “partners” off-balance. Exceptionalistan’s cry-babies whined
    again about the lack of foreknowledge, as if the russians would be under
    any obligation to inform the yanks. That’s “mission accomplished”,
    russian style. Don’t expect any big fanfare choreographed show on an
    air-carrier staring the chimp-in-chief.
    The russian move also preempted one of the “opposition”‘s (ksa created, and funded “hnc”) demands at the peace talks – the stopping of the russian bombing campaign – on the first day of the new round of negotiations in Geneva. It also shows the russians’ good will for an endurable negotiated peace.
    While the cease fire is mostly holding, the operations against the terrorists are going on, the russian airplanes are continuing to pound their military assets, and positions, and the SAA’s offensive is advancing slowly, but surely towards the eastern parts of Syria.
    The defenses around Latakia are going to stay, and, if need arises, the ship, submarine, or air launched cruise missiles can be fired on short notice, while the air assets can be re-deployed quickly – the infrastructure at Khmeimim still is, and will be in place, and the installations at Tartus aren’t going anywhere.
    The rumor is that Admiral Kuznetsov will join the naval forces in the Eastern Mediterranean this summer, before undergoing major overhaul.
    Also, the latest in attack rotary-wing is joining the forces at Khmeimim:

  2. yes, so far they have pulled out about 15 planes (3 groups: Su34 group, Su24 group and Su25 group)

  3. Well done Russian brothers!! They learned the afghan lesson. Finally one that learn form the past…

  4. some of the “withdrawal” is plain rotation of crews and aircraft due to number of flown sorties
    also there are some estimates on russian expedition war cost: between 450 and 490 million dollars for 6 months
    in case of islamistic tribal stupidity russia can redeploy forces and enforce peace the hard way

    • Half a billion dollars is a big chunk of Russia’s military budget, which is about 19 billion. Also it is my understanding that a small aviation detachment remains, not something serious. Most the planes are gone. That wouldn’t be consistent with sustained bombing capabilities.

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