Russian Spetsnaz, Contractors and Volunteers in the Syrian Conflict

21 Dec 2017
Policy Papers Russie.NEI.Visions

Sarah FAINBERG

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.

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Russian Spetsnaz, Contractors and Volunteers in the Syrian Conflict Download

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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.

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