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Russia's new twist in Syria policy: Restore archaeological sites

Russia is restoring several archaeological sites in Syria, which many Syrians believe aims to polish the Russian presence in Syria and portray it as not a military or political presence but rather a humanitarian one.
A Russian army soldier patrols the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra on May 5, 2016.

IDLIB, Syria — Russia is portraying itself as a protector of the human heritage in Syria by restoring archaeological sites across the war-torn country. On July 26, the head of the National Defense Management Center of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Mikhail Mizintsev, announced that the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums in Syria began working to preserve cultural heritage sites in Syria.

Mizintsev's statement came on the sidelines of a meeting he chaired with Syrian government representatives at a conference on the return of Syrian refugees and displaced persons, held on July 26. 

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