In a report published on Tuesday, Syrians for Truth and Justice revealed that hundreds of Syrian mercenaries have been transferred to fight alongside Russian forces in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas.
In its report, the organization said that Russia had transferred at least 500 Syrian fighters, including members of the regime’s army, from the Hemeimeem military base to Ukraine to fight as mercenaries alongside it. They had undergone training courses under the supervision of Russian officers.
The organization obtained information from testimonies of soldiers who had already gone to Kiev, as well as other testimonies from second-class officers working for the Syrian regime, according to the report.
The report indicated that the transfer of fighters took place through the Russian base of Hemeimeem in Lattakia in March and May 2022. It coincided with the transfer of Syrian fighters from Libya to the base in preparation for sending them to Ukraine for the same purpose. The organization boycotted the travel dates information obtained from sources with the flight website (Flightradar 24), which proved the existence of flights at the same time.
According to the report, the fighters expressed their willingness to fight alongside Moscow earlier by registering their names with intermediaries and security companies, most notably the security company al-Sayyad. It pointed out the presence of regular soldiers, including members of the 25th Division led by Brigadier General Suhail al-Hassan.
Through its middlemen, Moscow promised 100 fighters recruited through the Al-Sayyad Security Company, the majority of whom come from the central region, with a salary of up to $1,500 per month, in addition to receiving additional benefits and rewards after completing the mission and returning to the military command from which the fighter came.
In its report, the organization indicated that the fighters’ military tasks are summarized in fighting battles with the Ukrainian army in the east of the country first, and then moving to protect the cities controlled by the Russian forces, pointing out that there is no specific period for the mission
assigned to them.
According to the report, Russia also transferred officers from the Syrian regime through the Hemeimeem base to Moscow, in order to distribute and coordinate the tasks of fighters from Syria, where they were divided into battalions of 25 fighters accompanied by an officer and an interpreter, prior to the dispatch of fighters to eastern Ukraine.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.