How many so-called “Russian” mercenaries are really Ukrainian?

2018/2/13 23:10:34

Some reporters are too lazy or too ill-informed to adequately report stories that involve both Russian and Ukrainian actors. Bloomberg does a better job, but even then the information can get buried deep in the article.


A Bloomberg article, headlined “Strikes Killed Scores of Russia Fighters in Syria, Sources Say,” written by Stepan Kravchenko, Henry Meyer, and Margaret Talev

February 13, 2018, 12:38 PM GMT+2 Updated on February 13, 2018, 8:07 PM GMT+2

  • American, rebel forces repel attack by mercenaries in the east
  • The 200-plus deaths dwarf official Russian toll in the war


U.S. forces killed scores of Russian mercenaries in Syria last week in what may be the deadliest clash between citizens of the former foes since the Cold War, according to one U.S. official and three Russians familiar with the matter.


More than 200 contract soldiers, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base held by U.S. and mainly Kurdish forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said. The U.S. official put the death toll in the fighting at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured, but was unable to say how many were Russians.


The article goes on to provide a great of information and raise even more questions. However, much further into the story – near the end - the following paragraph appears:


“Most of those killed and injured were Russian and Ukrainian, many of them veterans of the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, according to Alexander Ionov, who runs a Kremlin-funded group that fosters ties to separatists and who’s personally fought alongside pro-government forces in Syria.”


We have no way of knowing how many of those killed and wounded were Russian and how many were Ukrainian. However, based on our knowledge of Ukrainian and separatist operations in the Donbas, we have every reason to believe the numbers could be roughly equal. My only point is that the Ukrainian people have a right to know how many Ukrainians have become turncoats and are fighting in support of Vladimir Putin’s misguided imperial dreams. Further, we would welcome commentary on his issue by our readers. If you have comments for publication, send them to:


Access the complete version of the referenced article at the link below: ... russian-fighters-in-syria


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