Russia's ambassador to Damascus says an estimated 10,000 Russian citizens are currently living in war-torn Syria.
Ambassador Aleksandr Kinshchak told TASS news agency that the figure includes those Syrians from mixed families who have Russian passports.
He also said that it was difficult to give an exact figure because many Russian citizens prefer not to be registered at the consulate.
The ambassador said Russian citizens have the possibility to be evacuated from Syria by boarding humanitarian planes returning from the western Syrian city of Latakia to Russia.
Russia launched air strikes in Syria on September 30, helping government forces recapture some territory lost to extremist groups and other opposition fighters in central and western Syria.