Russian Spetsnaz, Contractors and Volunteers in the Syrian Conflict
Russie.Nei.Visions, No. 105, Ifri, December 2017
This article focuses on a little-explored aspect of Russia’s intervention in Syria: the new and diverse expeditionary forces engaged on the Syrian frontlines alongside Russian regular armed forces.
Syria represents the first battlefield in which the Russian Federation has, in a coordinated manner and on a large military scale, deployed and activated a contingent of expeditionary forces including the new Special Operations Forces (SSO) and different categories of special forces (Spetsnaz); the newly created military police; military advisers and technicians; as well as “volunteers”, “contractors” (kontraktniki) and other paramilitaries working on behalf of private military companies.
A graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and holder of a PhD in political science at Sciences Po-Paris, Sarah Fainberg is a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv.