MOSCOW, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The first group of Russian nationals leaving from Syria have crossed the border to Lebanon, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.
The 50 Russians -- mostly women, children and some naturalized Syrians -- are heading to Beirut airport in three buses to board a plane dispatched by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry.
Russian diplomats accompanied the citizens to the Syria-Lebanon border, said the report.
The second group will follow shortly. A total of 81 people have so far chosen to return home, according to the Russian consulate in Damascus.
The diplomats said earlier that some 100 people would be airlifted back to Russia.
About 8,000 Russian citizens have been registered in Russia's embassy in Syria. In addition, some 25,000 non-registered Russians are living in the war-torn country, according to the embassy.