Putin reveals cost of Russia’s military operation in Syria (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 15:00)
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 17
Russia's military operation in Syria cost 33 billion rubles (roughly $464 million) from the Defense Ministry's budget for military drills and training, TASS news agency quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying March 17.
Additional costs are required after the operation in Syria but they are justified in order not to pay a higher price in future, according to the president.
Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on March 14 to start the withdrawal of forces from Syria. Russia will however keep a military presence at the port of Tartus and at the Hmeimim airbase to observe ceasefire agreements.
Syria has been suffering from an armed conflict since March 2011, which, according to the UN, has so far claimed the lives of over 220,000 people.
Militants from various armed groups are confronting the Syrian government troops.
The "Islamic State" (IS, aka ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) and Jabhat al-Nusra are the most active terrorist groups in Syria.