The Russian website “News Re” reported that Arab and Western media have claimed that a significant number of Syrians have joined forces with Russia in the war against Ukraine. According to Arab sources, over 40,000 Syrians have expressed their desire to support Russia in its fight against Ukraine.
Matvey Zagoni, the author, mentioned that Bashar al-Assad announced three months ago that individuals interested in volunteering alongside Russia could directly apply to the Russian side. The writer further explained that only highly skilled members of combat groups, who have received training from Russia in Syria and have effectively fought against “terrorist organizations” while being proficient in the Russian language, have successfully passed the final test. Media reports indicate that these individuals belong to the Fifth Corps and the 25th Division, which is elite special forces units of the Assad regime known as the “Tiger Forces.”
Based on available information, Syrian volunteers on the battlefield receive varying compensation, which depends on their experience, proficiency, and proximity to the front lines. Some sources suggest that Syrians earn approximately $7,000 every 7 months for their activities within Ukrainian territory, while others claim that the monthly salary is around $3,000.
Moreover, it has been reported that the families of volunteers receive food supplies while the volunteers are fighting alongside Russia. In the unfortunate event of a volunteer’s death, their family receives compensation amounting to approximately $15,000.
According to sources in Damascus, pro-Assad Syrians who have joined the war effort in Ukraine are primarily involved in safeguarding sites in Lugansk and Donetsk.
Media reports have verified that Syrians are deployed to the front lines only in urgent situations, and the involvement of Syrian volunteers affiliated with private military companies has been observed in the battles of Donetsk and Kherson.
On March 6th, 2022, the Wall Street Journal reported that Russia had recruited Syrian volunteers to deploy them to the Ukrainian battlefield.
Subsequently, on the 11th of the same month, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu officially announced that over 16,000 volunteers from the Middle East had expressed their willingness to travel to Ukraine in order to support Russian forces.
Additionally, the organization “Syrians for Truth and Justice” has affirmed the participation of Syrians in the Russian conflict in Ukraine, stating that they receive monetary compensation. For many Syrians, this opportunity has become the only means to secure a decent livelihood.
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.