Russian military advisor Nikolay Afanasov was killed during militants’ mortar shelling of the Syrian city of Hama, reporters at the Russian Ministry of Defense announced, as reported by RIA Novosti.
“As a result of militants’ sudden mortar shelling of the Syrian state forces’ city in the province of Hama, Russian military advisor Captain Nikolay Afanasov was killed,” the department reported, explaining that the deceased was one of the Russian military advisors.
There, according to the ministry’s representatives, he trained the personnel of the Syrian ground force divisions. The Defense Ministry added that Captain Afanasov would now be posthumously awarded a state decoration.
Earlier, on July 8, an official representative of the Department of State announced that Russia and the US had agreed to introduce a truce in the south-western regions of Syria. The ceasefire came into force on July 9. Several days later, on July 11, the American Department of State confirmed the compliance with the truce in these regions of the Syrian Arab Republic.
It is currently known that 34 Russians have been killed since the start of Russia’s military operation in Syria, according to confirmed data. The last announcement regarding the death of a Russian soldier appeared on May 3, when the official website of the Bratsk administration announced that the contractor Bogdan Derevitsky, aged 24, was killed in Syria. The circumstances of his death were not specified.
The death of another nine Russians became known on March 22. However, there has not yet been an official announcement regarding these deaths. RBC and a group of independent investigators of the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) explained that at least six of them were mercenaries of the so-called Wagner private military company. The Fontanka news outlet was the first to publish about this “group” and its involvement in combat in Syria in October 2015. According to the publication, the mercenaries were previously seen in the Donbas, where they also fought on the side of the self-declared republics.