Photo Credit: Russian Defense Ministry

Zeljka Cvijanovic, president of Republika Srpska (a Bosnia and Herzegovina entity), awarded Russian military specialists, who provided assistance to the republic in fighting the coronavirus epidemic, medals and certificates of merit, the press service of the President’s Office announced Thursday.

“President Cvijanović awarded the Medal of Merit for the People’s Commander of the Armed Forces [unit] of the Russian Federation [in Bosnia and Herzegovina], Colonel Maksim Petrović Sologubov for his outstanding contributions in providing support and medical assistance in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the coronavirus, as well as strengthening cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Srpska,” the statement reads, adding that Cvijanovic also awarded the remaining 23 servicemen certificates of merit. Russian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Pyotr Ivantsov attended the ceremony.

Earlier Republika Srpska officially asked Russia for assistance with the pandemic. On April 9, Russian military aviation delivered medical equipment, ventilators, drugs and 24 servicemen, including military medics and decontamination specialists, as well as five specialized vehicles to the country.

Earlier, Russia sent virologists and other military specialists and specialized military equipment to Italy and Serbia. In particular, in Italy, Russian servicemen have been decontaminating nursing homes for the elderly and the disabled. In Serbia, they have been decontaminating hospitals in a number of cities, including the capital city of Belgrade.