Russian MiG-29SMT aircraft returned to the airfield of their permanent deployment in the Astrakhan Region on Wednesday, after finishing the mission in Syria. The fighters were supposed to arrive on December 12, however, bad weather did not allow the pilots to depart from Khmeimim airbase in Syria. Families of the pilots, representatives of the All-Russian military-patriotic movement 'Unarmia... Еще', and members of veteran organisations attended the welcome ceremony. The pilots greeted with cheers, flowers and the traditional bread and salt greeting ceremony. The pilots' return to their home base comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria during a surprise visit to the Khmeimim Air Base in Latakia province on Monday.