Thursday, June 23, 2016

How Many Russian Soldiers Have Been Killed In Syria?

Medvedev Sergei/TASS via ZUMA

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, Daily Beast: How Many Russian Soldiers Have Died in Syria?

‘Officially’ only 11, but there are likely many more.

Since Russia began its bombing campaign in Syria on September 30, 2015, at least 12 Russian soldiers have been confirmed by the Russia Defense Ministry as killed, but independent journalists and bloggers have documented several more deaths and discovered reports of dozens more killed but not acknowledged by the government.

Unlike the war in Ukraine, where the Kremlin pretends it is only local separatists who die in combat despite hundreds of Russian soldiers reportedly killed there, in Syria, deaths are admitted and soldiers celebrated as heroes, given posthumous awards.

But the Kremlin is careful to describe the circumstances of their deaths as not in combat per se—since officially, there are no Russian boots on the ground. Instead, they are portrayed as heroically sacrificing their lives as they guard convoys of humanitarian aid, guide strikes by the Syrian Air Force, or “negotiate” among various factions through the Russian-created Center for the Reconciliation of Hostile Parties.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If Russian social media is to be believed, a number of Russian soldiers have been killed in Syria. Russia (like the U.S.) is using contractors .... and it is rarely reported when they are killed or wounded. As to the question .... how many Russians have been killed in Syria .... no accurate numbers or details are going to be released (it is against the law in Russia to do so) .... but I would not be surprised if the numbers are 3 to 4 times higher than the official numbers .... and they died in combat.

Update: Defense ministry denies death of Russian servicemen in Syria (TASS).


Carl Osgood said...

Question: Is the Russian military reliance on contractors and mercenaries any near on par with that of the US, which became infamous during the occupation of Iraq. At one point, if I recall correctly, there were more contractors (including Iraqis hired to be translators and work menial jobs) working for the US military than there were troops deployed, effectively more than doubling the size of the occupation force.

War News Updates Editor said...

Russian reliance on military contractors is nowhere near what the U.S. did in Iraq and Afghanistan .... but Russia does have some.

Anonymous said...

Tough day for the SAA and Russia on the Raqqah front.