Russian toll in Syria battle was 300 killed and wounded: sources

MOSCOW (Reuters) – About 300 men working for a Kremlin-linked Russian private military firm were either killed or injured in Syria last week, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

A Russian military doctor said around 100 had been killed, and a source who knows several of the fighters said the death toll was in excess of 80 men.

The timing of the casualties coincided with a battle on Feb. 7 near the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor where, according to U.S. officials and associates of the fighters involved, U.S.-led coalition forces attacked forces aligned with Moscow’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian officials said five citizens may have been killed but they had no relation to Russia’s armed forces. Continue reading

Posted in Casualties, Russia | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Putin’s Pocket Army? The Rise of Russian Mercenaries in Syria

Putin’s Pocket Army? The Rise of Russian Mercenaries in Syria

Russia is taking America’s use of privatizing war to the next level–hired guns who are off the books and unaccountable to the people.

On the parade ground of the military unit of internal troops of the MIA of Russia, 2014. Credit:Free Wind 2014/shutterstock

If you think the media has been saturated with news about Russia think again.  While thoughts might run to Robert Mueller’s probe into possible Russian collusion with the Trump election campaign, I refer to something possibly far worse: the development and expansion of Russia’s private military companies (PMC) and its implications for the global spread of armies for hire by great powers and multinational corporations alike.

Before going further it is important to define exactly what I mean by PMC sector.

Despite all the often negative publicity surrounding companies like Blackwater, Dyncorp, and numerous others operating in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 17 years, they essentially served as private security companies (PSC), guarding embassies, U.S. and coalition bases, convoys, officials, etc. PSCs carry guns, of course, and use them, but they are not engaging in what we would recognize as combat operations (though there were of secret operations throughout the War on Terror, where contractors, specifically Blackwater, were skirting that line).

A PMC like the ones I am describing in Russia, on the other hand, is doing exactly that. It is carrying out offensive, military operations, just like a regular military unit would. While due to their relatively small size PMCs are incapable of engaging large-scale, combined arms operations, they carry out many of the tactics and strategies akin to special operations forces. Continue reading

Posted in Casualties, David Isenberg, Russia | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Russian Casualties and Moscow’s Intent

February 13, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) embraced Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, on November 20, 2017. (Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters)

Reporting out of Moscow suggests that some number of armed Russians—up to 200—were killed by the US-led, anti-ISIS coalition after crossing the Euphrates River deconfliction line in eastern Syria on February 7.  If the reports are true, this was by far the bloodiest incident for Russian personnel since Moscow’s military intervention in Syria at the end of September 2015.

The degree to which the Kremlin knew in advance of the ill-advised fording of the Euphrates is not clear.  American military sources say that communications between them and Russian counterparts in Syria never broke down, and that the Russian air force never intervened on behalf of the invaders. Continue reading

Posted in Casualties | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Weak U.S. Response to Russian Proxies Undermines Deterrence in Middle East and Eastern Europe

Weak U.S. Response to Russian Proxies Undermines Deterrence in Middle East and Eastern Europe

Friday, February 16, 2018

Weak U.S. Response to Russian Proxies Undermines Deterrence in Middle East and Eastern Europe

By: Bradley Hanlon with the ISW Research Team

Key Takeaway: The Russian Wagner private military company and Lebanese Hezbollah attacked U.S. and partner forces in Eastern Syria on February 7, 2018. Wagner is part of the business empire belonging to Putin ally Evgeni Prigozhin, whom Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted on February 16.  The Kremlin uses proxy forces in Ukraine as well as Syria to maintain plausible deniability and avoid accountability for aggressive actions abroad. A proxy directly attacking U.S. forces is a significant escalation in the Kremlin’s use of irregular forces. The U.S. responded tactically in self-defense, but Secretary of Defense James Mattis did not hold Russia accountable, questioning whether Moscow had ordered the attack. The U.S. failure to hold Russia accountable and respond strategically to this attack sets a dangerous precedent, enabling the expansion of Russian proxy warfare. The Kremlin can use deniable proxies to attack U.S. forces and partners in other theaters, such as Eastern Europe and the Baltics. Continue reading

Posted in Russia | Tagged , | Leave a comment

After Syria Deaths, Creeping Anger — And Kremlin Silence — Over Mercenaries


Combat was not Ruslan Gavrilov’s primary motivation in signing up to go to Syria with a shadowy private military company. But the 34-year-old Russian also wasn’t “going to Syria to build houses,” he told relatives.

Rather, his mother says, Gavrilov was simply down on his luck and “wanted to earn some money.” He was one of at least 10 men around her son’s age who were recruited from their village around the same time, she adds.

“He didn’t have regular work — it was temporary, hanging doors or putting up ceilings,” Faina Gavrilova tells Current Time TV at the family home in Kedrovoye, in the central Russian region of Sverdlovsk. “Sometimes there’s work; sometimes there isn’t.”

Gavrilov is on a growing list of Russian fighters who are thought to have died in massive U.S. air strikes in Syria’s Deir al-Zor Province on February 7, at least several of them natives of Sverdlovsk. Continue reading

Posted in Casualties, Russia | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Syria Observatory: 15 Russian private security workers dead in Syria By AFP 14 hours ago Russian military vehicles in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province. Photo: TASS Russian military vehicles in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province. Photo: TASS Fifteen Russians employed in Syria by a private security company were killed when an unexplained explosion rocked an arms depot at their base in the war-torn country, a monitor said Wednesday. The incident happened at the company’s weapons storage facility at Tabiya Jazira a few days ago in the northeastern province of Deir Ezzor, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the company in question was in charge of “protecting the oil and gas fields controlled by the Syrian regime”. “Fifteen Russians working for a Russian private security company were killed in an explosion at a weapons depot of the company in Tabiya Jazira in Deir Ezzor province,” he told AFP. Seven other people, mostly pro-regime Syrian fighters, died in the blast, he added. The Russian workers had been at the site when “regime forces were trying to take the Coneco gas field” controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters. Their reported deaths come after the US-led coalition against jihadists struck the Coneco plant on Thursday in retaliation for an attack on an SDF base near the gas field on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river. The US-led coalition said Thursday it killed at least 100 pro-regime fighters to fend off an attack on its allies in eastern Syria, in one its deadliest confrontations yet with forces backing Damascus. The Observatory, which relies on a network of sources on the ground in Syria, said 45 pro-regime fighters were killed. The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denounced the strikes as a “war crime”. The US-led coalition was established in 2014 to fight the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, but it has bombed troops loyal to Damascus on several occasions.

Syria
Russian military vehicles in Syria's Deir ez-Zor province. Photo: TASS
Russian military vehicles in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province. Photo: TASS

 

Fifteen Russians employed in Syria by a private security company were killed when an unexplained explosion rocked an arms depot at their base in the war-torn country, a monitor said Wednesday.

The incident happened at the company’s weapons storage facility at Tabiya Jazira a few days ago in the northeastern province of Deir Ezzor, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Continue reading

Posted in Casualties, Russia | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Why Russia does not recognize the “Wagner” PMC

Original URL:  https://www.vedomosti.ru/opinion/articles/2018/02/14/750894-rossiya-ne-priznaet-vagner

Google translation

From the Editorial Board

Why Russia does not recognize the “Wagner” PMC

Political hypocrisy and provokes conflict with the US, and protects against its escalation

February 14, 00:34

Listen to this material

The political slyness of the Russian authorities, which is not the first time refusing to recognize the Russians of their own in dying in military conflicts outside the country, has reached new heights this week. This time and the occasion is exceptional: for the first time since the Vietnam War, there has been a direct clash of Russians with the Americans. But in a situation where even purely diplomatic clashes, such as the removal of the flag from the Consulate General in San Francisco by the Americans, are a reason for a stormy response, the refusal of the Russian authorities to recognize the dead as “theirs” means the possibility of avoiding the global, with unpredictable consequences, exacerbation of relations with the US – what the most radical commentators call the possibility of a new war. Continue reading

Posted in Russia | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How many Russians died in the American raid in Syria? All versions

Original URL:  https://meduza.io/feature/2018/02/13/skolko-rossiyan-pogibli-pri-amerikanskom-nalete-v-sirii-vse-versii

Google translation

How many Russians died in the American raid in Syria? All versions

Meduza

19:02, 13 February 2018

Russian soldiers in the Syrian city of Deir ez Zor. September 15, 2017

Dominique Derda / France2 / AFP / Scanpix / LETA

The international coalition led by the United States on February 7 caused an air strike on the armed supporters of Bashar Assad near the Syrian city of Deir ez Zor. It is assumed that among them were Russian mercenaries who are fighting in Syria on the side of government forces. There is almost no reliable information on the number of deaths caused by the raid: Russian and world media produce very different estimates of the number of victims. Continue reading

Posted in Russia | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Putin Is Struggling to Keep His Wars Separate

Putin Is Struggling to Keep His Wars Separate

The troops who died in Syria are called mercenaries, not heroes. Will the Russian people buy that?
209
Turning his back.Photographer: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Late on Feb. 7 and early on Feb. 8, U.S. forces in Syria likely killed the greatest number of Russians since the end of the Cold War — more than 200 soldiers. There will, however, be no international repercussions, nor will any of the Russians get posthumous medals like Roman Filipov, the fighter pilot who was shot down over Syria earlier this year and resisted capture until he was forced to blow himself up with a hand grenade. Continue reading

Posted in Russia | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mercenaries Hurt in U.S. Syria Strikes Are Treated at Russian Defense Hospitals

Mercenaries Hurt in U.S. Syria Strikes Are Treated at Russian Defense Hospitals

By  Henry Meyer  and  Stepan Kravchenko

February 14, 2018, 8:54 AM EST

  • Mercenaries said to be taken to Russian military hospitals
  • Russia denies link to fighters who struck U.S.-backed forces

Even as the Kremlin denies any official link to them, scores of Russian mercenaries wounded in U.S. strikes in Syria are being treated at Defense Ministry hospitals.

The wounded were brought to military hospitals in Moscow and St. Petersburg, according to two people in contact with them, after more than 200 fighters died in last week’s failed assault on a base held by U.S.-backed forces in Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor region. The death toll’s rising as some of the wounded succumb to their injuries, according to one of the people. Continue reading

Posted in Casualties, Russia | Tagged , , | Leave a comment
15 visitors online now
4 guests, 11 bots, 0 members
Max visitors today: 30 at 02:23 am UTC
This month: 68 at 02-12-2018 02:08 am UTC
This year: 72 at 01-16-2018 12:29 am UTC
All time: 376 at 03-21-2014 07:44 am UTC