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Russian Olympians Visit Russian Air Base Near Latakia, Syria

A group of Russian Olympians has visited a Russian air base in Syria that has been used by Moscow for nearly a year to launch air strikes in the war-torn country.

Russian state television reported on the visit on August 29, saying the athletes were at the Hmeimim Air Base near Syria's coastal city of Latakia during the weekend.

Footage broadcast by Russian state TV showed seven athletes -- including some gold medal winners from the 2016 Olympics in Rio -- leading group exercises with Russian soldiers at the air base.

The athletes included Rio gold medalist fencers Sofia Velikaya, Timur Safin, Artur Akhmatkhuzin, and Aleksei Cheremisinov.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS