Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Silence about hundreds of killed Russian mercenaries

What actually happened and why are both Moscow and Washington silent about the events?

(Source: AP/SITA)

Apparently, hundreds of armed men and dozens of pieces of heavy armor were destroyed in eastern Syria during an evening attack on the Kurds on February 7 and 8. But who were those men?

Shortly after the massacre, news started to emerge on Russian sites, suggesting that most of those killed were not part of Assad´s forces, nor Iranians, but Russian mercenaries employed by private military company (PMC) Vagner. It is assumed that the core of Vagner's men are members of the Russian special forces Specnaz.

What actually happened and why are both Moscow and Washington silent about the events? The answer to the second question is simple: after repeatedly declaring victory and withdrawal of Russia from Syria, the Kremlin cannot admit to a massacre of Russian citizens without recognizing that both the victory as well as the withdrawal are pure fantasy and the "small victorious war in Syria” is transforming into a new Afghanistan. That is the last thing Putin needs one month before the election. Even if the result of the election is secured by the elimination of his key competitor, the Kremlin needs to appear to have mass support and legitimacy.

The Americans, for their part, showed what they can do and do not need to escalate the situation through media reports on the event.

To answer what really happened is, in the absence of any official information, more challenging. Consequently, it took several days to compose a picture of the events from the fragmented pieces.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Yuri Dojc: I did not want to live under occupation

Slovakia is not even close to what I remember from my life here, says the Canadian-Slovak photographer.

Yuri Dojc today: "A reflection of an older man in the mirror with glimpse of an attractive woman , who is my wife"

We will not allow Ján and Martina to be forgotten

Statement from Slovak journalists half a year after the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová

Illustrative stock photo

Our emigrants’ stories: lessons in humanity

Slovaks who fled the 1968 occupation tell us what it means to be a refugee.

Pictures from The Gift pantomime show. Milan Sladek wrote it in the Swedish Goteborg in 1969 as a metaphor of Czechoslovakia's cohabitation with the Soviet Union.

We were on the run, but we were welcomed Photo

Slovak-Swiss writer Irena Brežná was forced to emigrate but found a way to fill her life with meaning in a foreign land.

Irena Brežná arrives to Switzerland.