In the Syrian province of Deir ez Zor, on February 7, during fights involving American aircraft, several Russian citizens who participated in hostilities in the territory of the republic were killed. Numbers called different sources of losses differ from each other by an order of magnitude. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation told Kommersant that the agency is checking information on the presence of victims, including CIS citizens.
The first information about the deaths of Russian citizens near Deir-ez-Zor appeared a few days ago: then several military sources told Kommersant that in addition to Syrian fighters in the area of the former oil refinery "El Isba", American aircraft fired on February 7 and Russians who fought on side of government units. Officially, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported 25 wounded Syrians, but Russian citizens did not mention it. According to Kommersant, this is explained by the fact that the military is responsible only for the actions of the personnel, and not for those who voluntarily took up arms.
According to the Russian military source, the reason for the incident in the province of Deir ez Zor in the north of the country was an attempt by local "big businessmen currently supporting Bashar Assad" to seize oil and gas fields controlled by the Kurds, the US allies.
For this purpose, pro-government tribal units moved on the offensive, and the so-called ISIS Hunters hunters, reinforced by the soldiers of the Wagner PMC, marched in the second echelon. The strike of the US Air Force and shelling were both of them. The interlocutor of Kommersant asserts that the Russian command in Syria did not authorize an offensive operation on oil fields, which was perceived as a "dangerous initiative". The official statement of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation said: "The reason for the incident was the reconnaissance and search operations of the Syrian militia that were not coordinated with the command of the Russian operational group."
A former co-worker of several February 7 deaths of "Wagner's PMs" told Kommersant that he had already communicated with wounded eyewitnesses of the battle near Deir-ez-Zor in one of the Russian hospitals. According to him, on that day, a detachment of PMC, which was bombarded, actually numbered about 600 people armed with small arms, as well as artillery and tanks. Most of the group consisted of Russian-speaking fighters, and only a small part were the so-called ISIS Hunters. "In fact, this is an intensified battalion, but in the" Wagner PMC "this is called a detachment. No MANPADS, no support from the air they had, and no one promised it, "the source said." The whole calculation was that after the shelling ours will quickly storm this factory, the Kurds will throw their weapons. " And the Americans will not be beaten by their own when the close battle begins. " But by the beginning of the fighting, only half of the detachment had managed to deploy in battle order. The rest of the PMC fighters were still in armored cars, aligned in a column 8 kilometers east of the line of delineation between pro-government forces and the SDS.
Data on losses vary greatly. According to a Russian military source, "Kommersant", the number of dead Russians on February 7 was 11 people.
Reuters reported that more than 100 "proasadov fighters" were killed, two of whom - Vladimir Loginov and Cyril Ananiev - were from Russia. The agency Bloomberg calls the number of 100 dead Russians. The CIT group named four names of the dead. Znak.com published an interview with the widow of one of the dead. A number of sources said that the wounded were sent from Syria to Russian medical facilities, but this is not commented at the hospitals of the name of Vishnevsky, Burdenko and Mandryk.
Publications about the "hundreds of dead" are classical misinformation, which Western mass media are engaged in, "Kommersant" in the Russian Foreign Ministry said: "We are now checking information on the presence of victims, including CIS citizens. If there are confirmations, be sure to let them know. " And the head of the public relations department of the Inherent Resolve operation headquarters ("Unshakable determination"), led by a group of countries led by the United States in Iraq and Syria, Colonel Thomas Wil told Kommersant: "We do not comment on the exact composition of the enemy forces that carried out an unprovoked attack on ("supported by the United States." "Kommersant") "Syrian Democratic Forces."
Russian legislation does not presume the existence of people who do not serve in the official security structures that are fighting in the territory of other states. The concept of a "private military company" is only being discussed by legislators. "The state did not send these people there. A person going to fight for money as a mercenary expose himself to the risk, which is fixed in his contract with those who invite him. This is not a contract with the Russian state. The Russian state has no information about it, "Academician Vitaly Naumkin, the scientific director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, explained to Kommersant, stating that he does not have data on possible losses of the Russian Federation in the last US attack in Syria. "Yes, on the one hand, the state turns a blind eye to their presence in Syria, on the other, there is a law that should bring these people to justice. They are mercenaries, and these people are not under the protection of the state, although the state is obliged to protect any citizen of the Russian Federation, "the expert continues. In his opinion, if in Syria, as a result of the American attack, a Russian military man died, then the reaction from the Russian Federation "should have been and would have been very tough."