The issue of losses in the Syrian war | Colonel Cassad



Continuing the theme of loss

In the media, new information about losses of the Russian troops in the fighting in Syria.

6 March 2017, media reported the death in Syria of a 23-year-old Ivan Slyshkina, native village of Tates of Ozersk district. According he was killed February 12 by a sniper’s bullet, and was buried 2 Mar in the city of Ozersk, Chelyabinsk region. The military went as a volunteer to Syria to earn money for the wedding. On the same day it became known about the death in Palmyra 23-year-old Artem Gorbunov, who served in the 96-th separate brigade intelligence in Nizhny Novgorod. According to the research group Conflict Intelligence Team, the scout was killed on 2 March in the capture of Palmyra, in an ambush.“B” has collected all the information about Russian losses during the operation of videoconferencing in Syria. – zinc

As in the case of the battle for Aleppo, the end of the battle, and is usually associated with the manifestation of losses that generally are under the watchful eye of military censorship and backed by relevant laws, making the theme of the loss of the subject of state secrets However, some of the information in one way or another declassified and official number of losses increases, usually toward the end of the next operation.
As a rule, the disclosure of information about the victims is delayed, in addition to well-publicized episodes like the shelling of a hospital in Aleppo, the destruction of the transport helicopter West of Aleppo, or the incident with su-24 at the Turkish border. The official figure of the dead, which now consists of 27 people, obviously does not account for all the dead in Syria, as the regulars, and the “privateers”. Also, there is no accurate data on actual count of wounded or injured in non-combat reasons. Here also is actively working military censorship.Therefore, the official figures will eventually increase (including due to losses, which are de facto already occurred), and the accurate data we most likely before the end of the war do not know.

There’s nothing unusual. Soviet Union during numerous local wars, which he waged around the world, as well secrets of their own losses, which generally became known much later than the completion of Soviet involvement in these conflicts. Some information became available in the Restructuring, part – after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

From the fundamental work Krivosheeva “secrecy removed: the Losses of Russia and the USSR in wars of XX century”:

In the period from 1946 to 1991, units, units and formations of the Soviet Army and Navy, a separate group of troops (advisers and military experts) were directly involved in the fighting in more than two dozen armed conflicts and local wars in Europe, Asia, Africa and the middle East. In most conflicts, the participation of the Soviet Union was an indirect-mostly through the supply of weapons and military equipment, training, etc.

In military conflicts of the postwar period by the Soviet troops can be divided into several main areas.

The first of these is the armed defense of the territorial integrity and inviolability of the Soviet state (border fighting near Damansky island and the lake Zhalanashkol).

Second, the most active area of foreign policy, international activities of our state and its Armed Forces was the provision of military assistance to many Nations and countries in their struggle for the conquest or the preservation of national and state independence. These include armed conflicts that took place in Asia, Africa, America (Caribbean crisis), invasion of Afghanistan. These events killed and died around 16 thousand Soviet soldiers.The third direction of the Soviet troops in conflicts abroad is the implementation of the decisions of the top political leadership of the USSR to preserve the unity of the socialist camp, the inviolability of the Warsaw Treaty Organization. Had been invited to participate in these actions, a large number of Soviet soldiers, of which more than 800 people were killed.


In the struggle for independence and national integrity of Egypt played a major role in the Soviet Union. He rendered diplomatic and military support to the state, embarked on the path of democratic reforms. So it was during the Suez crisis in 1956, when Egypt and other Arab countries threatened the outbreak of a military invasion of Israel, Britain and France. Only the firm position of the USSR stopped the aggression of the United anti-Arab forces.

However, in 1967 the situation in the area deteriorated sharply again, everyone was talking about the preparation of the parties for war. Egypt’s armed forces had up to 300 thousand people were Preparing for war with Israel and the armed forces of Syria and Jordan. Powerful shock troops created Israel. The command of Israel ahead of the actions of the military leadership of the Arab countries and the first launched air strikes on the positions of Egypt. Following this, the armored forces of Israel, crossed the armistice line and marched through the Sinai Peninsula to the Suez canal, Started military action against Syria.

During the war, which lasted six days (from 5 to 10 June 1967), Israeli forces inflicted a serious defeat on Egypt, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian armed groups. They occupied the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza strip, the Golan heights and the West Bank of the Jordan river. The losses of the parties were significant.
A deterrent to the aggressor’s presence off the coast of Egypt a squadron of Soviet warships, ready to take decisive action. From USSR to Egypt and Syria began an intensive transfer of arms, military equipment and military experts. Because of this, Egypt and Syria, was able to recover his fighting force.

Conditional lull did not last long. The first aerial combat began in the spring of 1968 At the end of 1969 after a thorough aerial reconnaissance by Israeli planes suppress Egyptian air defenses and began to attack the Central areas of Egypt. Was destroyed was built with Soviet assistance steel plant in Helwan, which killed 80 people, the President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser turned to Moscow with a request to establish “an effective missile shield” and the sending to Egypt of Soviet troops air defense systems and aircraft. This request was granted.

Only in Egypt was deployed 21 Soviet anti-aircraft missile battalion. At military airfields were stationed two regiments of MiG-21. These forces were the main in the reflection of Israeli air raids on Egypt resumed in the summer of 1970 When the fighting came a lull, the Soviet army was engaged in servicing equipment, training Egyptian soldiers and officers. After Nasser’s death began the deterioration of Soviet-Egyptian relations. Derived from the country 15 thousand of Soviet military specialists. However, Egypt continued to receive Soviet weapons.

The leaders of Egypt and Syria, Sadat X. A. and al-Assad decided to continue the war against Israel. The attack on the positions of Israeli troops in the Sinai and on the Golan heights began on 6 October 1973 there was a major battle with tanks, armored vehicles, aircraft, ATGM, anti-aircraft missiles. Both sides suffered significant losses. The United States began an intense delivery of arms to Israel. Necessary aid to Egypt and Syria provided the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union has deployed in Eastern Mediterranean naval powers, to avoid possible attempts by Israel to thwart Soviet military supplies.

Israeli tanks suffered losses and went on the offensive, threatening Cairo and Damascus. A. Sadat appealed to the governments of the USA and the USSR to send troops to Egypt to stop the advance of the Israelis. The Soviet side agreed with the request of Egypt. After long negotiations, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, stopping the troops to the positions they occupy on October 22. Parties have been encouraged to start negotiations. 18 January 1974the Egyptian representatives had signed with Israel the agreement on disengagement. A similar agreement was signed between Israel and Syria. Soviet military experts returned Home.

In this Arab-Israeli war, the Soviet soldiers-pilots, gunners rocketeers, sailors, other military experts have proved once again their loyalty to the Patriotic and international duty. However, this was achieved extraordinary hard work and human sacrifice. During the war years in Egypt were killed, died of wounds and disease 49 Soviet soldiers. Also in Syria, killing two officers and died from the disease one General.


1977 Ethiopia, located at the base of the horn of Africa, was the beginning of a major revolutionary and democratic transformation. The internal problems of the backward countries was supplemented by the separatist action in the North (in Eritrea) and East of the country, the acute struggle for power. All this is complemented by a new danger — the armed aggression of neighboring Somalia, claiming to be part of the territory of Ethiopia — the Ogaden desert. 23 July 1977, Somali troops, hoping for an easy success, he invaded the Ethiopian province, located in the Ogaden.Meanwhile, the government of Somalia denied the participation of its armed forces in this aggression.

In difficult conditions proved the independence of Ethiopia. It was supported by the Soviet Union, Cuba and other socialist countries. In Ethiopia began to arrive from the USSR weapons and military equipment. In the creation and training of the Ethiopian army participated in the Soviet and Cuban military experts. Often they have to participate in the fighting. They have played an important role in the reflection of the enemy. The ensuing counter-offensive by Ethiopian troops in January 1978 and drove the aggressor to several tens of kilometers.

However, fierce fighting continued. Somali troops repeatedly passed to the offensive. But was stopped and forced to retreat, to leave the occupied territory.

On 15 March, the Somali government announced a complete withdrawal of its troops from Efiopiya. And in this great merit of logistical assistance provided by the Soviet Union, Cuba and many other countries. A significant contribution to the protection of the independence and integrity of Ethiopia was made by Soviet soldiers. Some of them laid their heads on the distant African land.
But the complete peace in Ethiopia did not come. In the Northern part of the mills — Eritrea continued guerrilla war. Several separatist groups have fought the Central government.

Providing assistance to Ethiopia, the Soviet Union made efforts for a political solution of internal problems. However, he officially announced that participation in an internal conflict, is not included within the scope of the Soviet military advisers and specialists. And they visited Ethiopia from December 1977 to November 1979, several thousand. During this time, the irretrievable losses of the Soviet troops amounted to 33 people. zinc

In this respect, conducting an active foreign policy, has always been associated with the need for combat operations outside their own borders. Russian here, never an exception. And Russia, and the USSR in different periods of its history, participated in local wars on the territory of other States and carried out those or other losses. Russians until recently because of their own weakness, were forced to fight on their own territory. But now, the situation has changed and the army is fighting abroad, reflecting the changed political and military realities. Of course, without loss, this increasing foreign policy activity is not complete. And of course, within the General concept of hybrid warfare, information about the losses is a secret. Selected not the Ukrainian version in the style of “no casualties”, a variant of the default (when no MO of the Russian Federation and various media in a large part of the cases serve as a source of information about the death of troops in Syria) when losses are spread over time (a fighter could die in the spring of 2016, and officially declared dead in the fall), and when they emerge in the media, they are in most cases confirmed.Why it is done, as is quite clear – the war in Syria has modest popularity in society (as zayavlenie formal and actual objectives of the war are not universally accepted and understood), and in the Patriotic segment is closely intertwined with the theme of Donbass and the old theme I/nevvod troops referring to discussions 2014. In the power of the hysterical nature of the bourgeois media, even moderate losses of Russia is in Syria, sometimes cause bubbling in the spirit of “it is time to withdraw troops” and “Russia washes blood.”It is a kind of light version of the hysteria that occurred in 1994-1996, when the Russian army literally destroyed the Russian media. Thus, different reflection, complemented by the trivial information war initiated by the other parties of the Syrian war, which the Russian part is the throat. Just to remind you of his own material written in the early days after the Russian troops to Syria:

Regarding war and already appeared stuffing on the topic of “mass casualties of the Russian aggression against peaceful terrorists”, I would like to mention.
As negative aspects that will accompany the participation of Russia in the war in Syria will be manifested in the following points (in real or fictitious actual content) that will be used in the framework of information-psychological war against Russia.

1. Victims among servicemen of the Russian Federation (population in Lattakia and Tartus, as well as the pilots). With all the weakness of the air defense of the Caliphate (anti-aircraft guns, MANPADS rare + perhaps the old Syrian and Iraqi SAMS), separate the losses in aircraft can not be excluded. As it is impossible to eliminate losses in manpower of the land contingent of the terrorist attacks, acts of martyrs, sporadic shelling and explosions of mines. All of these losses, both real and fictitious will of course to get the press there to Skakavitsa in the style of “Russia drowned in blood on the Syrian fronts.”

2. The civilian casualties during air strikes. Precision strikes without civilian casualties exist only in movies and the biased cuts, where all the missiles are flying off should affect only the “bad guys”. In practice, as experience shows US in the course of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the experience of the Russian military in Chechnya, civilian casualties during the air war inevitable. Again – both real and fictitious losses will be to pull the press out and relish in the spirit of “bloody Russian aggressors killed innocent”.You’ve got to understand that the excuse “it was a mistake”, which the US standard explain such a situation in the Russian version will get a completely different assessment for what is allowed to US, other not affected.American practice in the Western media will be treated as “known error rate”, the Russian practice as “deliberate crime”.

3. Any military failure of Russia in Syria, and in the course of the war (even air) they are known it is not excluded, will be treated under the microscope, and the successes will be small and insignificant. Something in the spirit – “the Caliphate have shot down a Russian attack – the fiasco of the Russian air war is obvious” – “Assad’s Troops with air support of the Russian Federation took Palmyra – pathetic attempts”. Of course President Assad will be supplied as open support of “bloody tyranny” and Russia will get its own portion of the charges of mass murder in Syria, although it is obvious that the massacres were provoked by the initiators of the Arab spring, which is so shameful and bloody ended.

4. It is not ruled out terrorist acts on the territory of the Russian Federation as related to the Caliphate, and committed other factions of course will be linked to the war in Syria and served with sauce “If troops were not introduced, and the attacks would not have happened”. Thus, the fact that the attacks periodically go to the Caucasus without war in Syria, as the silent. As for me, even if stressed to pretend that the Caliphate does not exist, sooner or later, these figures will begin its active (now they are more and more “education” are engaged in) activity on the territory of the Russian Federation and it is unlikely that intelligence agencies can give 100% guarantee that the terrorist attacks in the Caucasus, or, say, in Moscow will not happen. There is always a chance that someone missed. zinc

It is not difficult to notice some of the propaganda techniques was reproduced virtually verbatim.

Of course none of the troops withdraw will be a war in one form or another will be brought to its logical conclusion (how successful is a question of the forthcoming hostilities and diplomatic negotiations between major actors in the war – it is primarily dependent on the military and diplomats). The issue of losses, from my subjective point of view must be assessed through the prism of justification of Russian troops in Syria and assisting the Assad regime.As for helping the legitimate Syrian government, I speak not my claim, rather, was to ensure that the Assad regime has been late (Russia intervened in the war, when things are at Bashar al-Assad was frankly doesn’t matter and say, enter the Russian troops in Syria back in 2013, “things could have been otherwise”). So help Assad, I believe it is a good thing because Assad is any better than all his Syrian opponents and their sponsors, for all possible claims to the Assad regime, which is of course not perfect. Assad-ISIS any better, better, “An-Nusra” better “Ahrar al-sham” and the like.So in the Syrian war Russia is fighting on the right side. This is an important point – just or unjust war in which your country participates. Is the war in Syria is fair? If there is fighting the Russian army for a cause? In my opinion, it’s Assad’s right and he needs help.

You can of course try to prove that the case of Assad are wrong, and some of his opponents better and Russia was not on the right side. Interested to see how you do it. I have this position expressed before the war in Ukraine and Russian troops in Syria and I see no reason to abandon it, especially because the course of the war well demonstrated, with whom it is fighting Assad and his allies. We also know what happens when “bloody tyranny overthrown”. Look at today’s Libya. Or poor Yemen.Regarding the comparison with the Donbas, but Russia is helping Syria and the Donbass does not help. Seriously? Who do there is preparing the army corps and the construction of public structures? Zaharchenko with Carpentry or what? In fact, the support of the Donbass and the war in Syria has cost Russia very dearly in every sense. And there is no point in protivopostovlyat – important support of the Donbass and the war in Syria. This is part of the same conflict with “valued partners”, which has already claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people in Ukraine and God knows how many lives in Syria.From this conflict it is impossible to escape just running away from Syria or surrendering the Donbas.

Attempts by the Federation to carry out its own subjective foreign policy and to undermine the system of neoliberal world order, will not be forgotten and forgiven. For those who do not understand, there is more than a clear picture in the Russophobic and anti-Russian hysteria in the West, with the overall message of “we need to punish these Russian”.

Of course, the help of Syria requires Russia’s various costs – financial, political, diplomatic, image-building, but most importantly – by participating in this war, Russia is paying for this assistance and blood of its own soldiers. As in any war, there are always losses. There were, are and will be. Exactly how much -we find out most likely after the war. For me in this issue important:

1. The victim must not be in vain. War should end so that it was possible to say that these people gave their lives not in vain and that the word here is not with deeds.

2. The families of the dead and wounded needs to (and I hope I get) all the necessary assistance from the state. The memory of the dead must be properly immortalized. No one should be left behind.

3. At the end of the war it is highly desirable to officially disclose the actual casualty figures to exclude various innuendo and speculation, to know that the cost of the Syrian war, then not crawled another Solzhenitsyn not said, “until you have opened all the archives on Syria, we have the right to make any assumptions”.

Peace to the ashes of those who to the end fulfilled the duty.

Stauffenberg was Right!

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