48,000 Russian military personnel have been sent to the war in Syria. Many of them also participated in the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of Ukrainian territory in the Donbas. Investigations of InformNapalm international intelligence community reveal a long list of Russian military units whose servicemen participated in the aggression both against Ukraine and against Syria.
More than 48,000 Russian troops have passed through Syria
On December 28, the Russian RIA Novosti news agency, referring to a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, reported that more than 48,000 servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces participated in the military operation in Syria.
“In just over two years, more than 48,000 of our officers and soldiers have taken part in the operation in Syria. They are representatives of virtually all military professions: pilots and sailors, servicemen of special forces and military police, sappers, scouts, signalmen, medical and logistic support specialists, command officers and military advisers,” Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with officers who participated in the Syrian operation.
The Kremlin once again demonstrated its inconsistency and untruthfulness. For a long time, Russian officials persistently denied any information about the presence of Russian ground troops in Syria. Despite the irrefutable evidence periodically appearing in the media, the Kremlin’s leaders kept saying that “they are not there”, the same way they did after the annexation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbas.
After the Donbas, they occupied Syria
For two years InformNapalm international intelligence community have published more than 150 materials about the Russian military presence in Syria. These investigations not only revealed the detailed information about pilots of the Russian Air Force, who bombed civilian population and groups of Syrian rebels who opposed Bashar al-Assad’s regime, but also formed a database of the Russian ground troops secretly fighting in Syria.
In the course of InformNapalm investigations it was established that servicemen from at least 20 military units of the Russian Armed Forces, who were from the Russian Air Force and personnel of the Russian military bases, participated in the fighting in Syria. They were military personnel of the Marine Corps, signalmen, motorized infantry, servicemen of the Russian special forces, and, most importantly, artillerymen: the 336th Marine Brigade (the 879th Assault Battalion of the same brigade), the 200th Motorized Rifle Brigade, the 61st Marine Brigade, the 810th Marine Brigade, the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade, the 20th NBC Regiment, the 1st Motorized Engineer Brigade, the 2nd Motor Rifle Division, the 200th Artillery Brigade, the 21st Motorized Rifle Brigade, the 28th Motorized Rifle Brigade, the 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade, the 7th Tank Brigade, the 120th Artillery Brigade, the 34th Motorized Rifle Brigade, the7th Military Base, the 291st Artillery Brigade, the 66th Signal Brigade, the 136th Motorized Rifle Brigade, and the 18th Motorized Rifle Brigade (almost all personnel of the last brigade participated in the annexation of Crimea; we will disclose it in the new investigations).
Note that the soldiers and officers from most of these military units also appear in the InformNapalm investigations regarding the Russian aggression in the Donbas.
At the end of 2016, a video prepared by InformNapalm was presented at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Istanbul. It named 16 Russian military units that fought in Syria, 13 of them were previously seen in the Donbas. In 2017, the evidential base for Syria expanded from 16 to 20 military units, and the total number of Russian military units whose personnel have been spotted in the Ukrainian Donbas increased from 75 to 83, according to InformNapalm.