Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Russian Mercenaries in Syria

Today, different US media reported on Russian mercenaries being killed in US air strikes in Syria while fighting side by side with Syrian government-backed troops. Official Russian sources are downplaying such reports. A private Russian military agency named Wagner is allegedly behind the recruiting and deployment of Russian ex-soldiers. Sources are indicating that a former Russian special-forces officer, Dmitry Utkin, is acting on behalf of Wagner, his group numbering as many as 2,500 men. That group is believed to have figured heavily in operations around Palmyra in 2016, serving as “shock troops” alongside the Syrian army, says Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security at the Institute of International Relations in Prague. Though the Russian army has not acknowledged Wagner’s existence, Mr Utkin was photographed late last year alongside President Vladimir Putin at a Kremlin reception for military officers in honour of Day of Heroes of the Fatherland.

[Sources: BBC, today two hours ago, and The Economist on November 2nd, 2017]


Foreign media are saying that 100.000 Russian mercenaries are
spread all over the world: Broad participation in the Syrian War.

[Source: SINA / XinHua 新华社 on January 31, 2018]

خبير روسي يوضح مصير الاتفاقات المبرمة بين موسكو و واشنطن بشأن سوريا

Russian expert explicates the fate of agreements
between Moscow and Washington related to Syria.

The article is referring to Vitaly Naumkin, director of the Institute of Orientalistic in the Russian Aceademy of Science and the United Nations special envoy for Syria. Vitaly Naumkin is considering all US-Russian agreements on Syria as being intact. "Citizens with Russian passports within the Syrian Army" should therefore not be overestimated, especially because these people are definitely breaking Russian law when joining the Syrian army as well-paid mercenaries.


Visitor from Singapore interested in Islamic State propaganda.

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