Year in Syria: how Russia treated the military operation

Year of the war

Friday, September 30 — the first anniversary of the Russian military campaign in Syria. According to official data, during the campaign, killed 20 Russian soldiers. During this time the Russian aircraft, according to estimates , made nearly 13 thousand sorties, and Russia’s military operation in Syria could cost the budget RUB bn

This follows from the analysis of open data on the number of sorties by Russian planes, the use of cruise missiles “Caliber” and other weapons (official data about these costs are not published in Russia). The counting took into account the number of military personnel stationed at the base in Hamima, the value of their content, the loss of military equipment and payments to families of the victims.

Different army

The US-led coalition, the daily spends on the operation against ISIS (banned in Russia) to Iraq of $12.3 million (about 800 million rubles at the average exchange rate in August 2016), follows from the data on the website of the Ministry of defense of the United States. Total cost of operation by 15 August, the Americans estimated at $ 9 billion (584 billion). The campaign coalition in Iraq began on 8 August 2014.

The Russian campaign is cheaper than the us because the supply of our army leaves a lot less money, says military expert Viktor murakhovski. “We have a different scale of prices of weapons, military equipment, aircraft and means of destruction. Our military will pay less,” — says military expert.


After President Vladimir Putin on 14 March 2016 ordered to withdraw troops from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR), the cost of maintaining the database and Hamim group videoconferencing Russia declined. The number involved in the operation of the aircraft was reduced to 24 units, experts of the Center for analysis of strategies and technologies (tsast) in the report “the Syrian frontier, but in fact the operation has not stopped. At the peak of the campaign in November 2015, the number of aircraft reached 69. Until 14 March, Russian aircraft have made an average of 52 departures a day. After — 21 sorties, it follows from the analysis of open data. After officially announced the withdrawal of troops rush sorties occurred this August: Russian aircraft have made 70 sorties per day. The extensive use of aircraft was associated with the exacerbation of hostilities in Aleppo.

In total, according to estimates , over the year it was made about 13 thousand sorties. Group videoconferencing works in Syria in the near, intermediate and far distances. According to the official reports of the operation, as well as media reports, about 80% of the sorties committed by Russian aircraft at close range. It crashes in Idlib, Hama, HOMS and outskirts of Damascus. As previously indicated a source close to the HQs, such a flight lasts on average no more than 40 minutes, and costs (including used shells of fuel required and costs) of 3.5 million rubles, the Remaining 20% are medium and long flights (province of raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and al-Hasakah). The average duration of such flights is 1 to 1.5 hours estimated cost — 5.5 million RUB.

Based on the foregoing, on combat missions of the Russian aircraft accounted for the majority of military spending throughout the campaign — not less than 50 billion rubles.


After the announcement of the withdrawal of the Russian military continued to use cruise missiles “Caliber”, but much less frequently. So, until the official termination of the operation took place 48 launches of cruise missiles, after the defense Ministry and the media reported only eight runs.

Officially, the cost of cruise missiles “Caliber” has never been published and guarded state secret. However, in 2006 the government of India signed a contract for the purchase of 28 cruise missiles of this type in the export version (Klub-S 3M-14E) for $184 million contract Price does not display the final cost of the missiles, said the editor of the magazine “national defense” Igor Korotchenko. The contract can also be included the price of transportation, maintenance, upgrades, vehicles and other expenses. The expert indicated that the price of a single run can vary from $750-900 thousand

If we take into the calculation the minimum price, only a start 56 cruise missiles “Caliber” with water and air cost the Russian budget in the amount of not less than 2.8 billion rubles.

Personnel and pOteri

Payments to staff on the basis Hamim, according to the order of the Ministry of defence on military pay, are about $19 (1200 RUB.) per day per person.

The cost of food of each soldier range from 600 to 800 rubles per day, said the expert of the Center for military forecasting Institute of political and military analysis Anatoly Tsyganok. The reports of Russian TV channels from Syria mentioned that they are preparing food for the soldiers of the military field kitchen.

On the composition of the Russian contingent in Syria received only fragmentary information. As of late October, two sources close to the defense Ministry, reported that the number of troops in Syria is 1,600 people
In November 2015 on the basis there were about 4 thousand people, wrote Reuters. In September 2016 the CEC data indicated that at the Russian base in Hamima voted 4378. Suppose that the average number of the Russian contingent in Syria during the year has not dropped below 3,000. Thus, the per diem military personnel left more than 1.3 billion rubles, food fighters cost About 770 million RUB: RUB 2.1 bn.

According to official sources in Syria, killing 20 soldiers. Payments to relatives amounted to 60 million rubles 3 million to each family.

Since the beginning of the Syrian campaign, the Russian military also lost a front-line bomber su-24 shot down a Turkish fighter jet, helicopters Mi-8, Mi-35 and Mi-28N. The cost of the bomber, according to Forbes, is about RUB 390 million cost of the helicopters — 248 mln RUR 1.1 billion and RUR 1.6 billion.

Thus, the Russian military lost during the conflict technique for the total amount (estimated) to 3.34 billion rubles.

Total only determined by open sources, the cost of RF for the conduct of military operations in Syria during the year amounted to (50 billion +2.8 billion + 2.1 billion + 0,006 billion 3.34 billion) = 58.3 billion RUB.

For reference: in March, Vladimir Putin announced that the cost of operation from September 2015 to March 2016 (i.e. over six months) was 33 billion. the President said that the bulk of the costs have already been included in the budget of the military Department for exercises and provision of military training in 2015. Putin, however, noted that in addition to the declared amount, the Ministry will require additional funds to replenish the spent ammunition and the repair of equipment involved in the operation.

Data unknown

Unclear are the costs of deploying air defense assets on the basis Hamim. Also based on open data it is impossible to calculate how much cost the budget flights of strategic aviation from military bases in Mozdok and Hamadan. In the one year war in Syria, the strategic bombers Tu-22, Tu-95 and Tu-160 flew more than 250 sorties. According to the report of the Center for analysis of strategies and technologies, bombers during sorties used cruise missiles X-101 and X-555. The cost of these high-precision missiles are also unknown. “In many ways, cruise missiles were used in an experiment as on the range,” explains the use of these cruise missiles military analyst Anton Lavrov. According to him, these missiles makes sense to use for beats under the priority goals (gathering of the commanders of the fortified headquarters) and to enhance the precision of air strikes.

In may, American intelligence-analytical company Stratfor has published satellite images, which show the remains of four burned-out helicopters. Stratfor suggested that the photographs — the Russian base of T4 in the vicinity of Palmyra. The defense Ministry denied reports about the destruction of the helicopters, but military analyst Anton Lavrov said that the photos show the burn marks that is helicopters, and not other aircraft, which could belong to the Syrian air force.

Furthermore, it is likely the state incurred the cost of maintaining the so-called “group of Wagner” or “Wagner PMCs” (private military company) is an informal group consisting of 2.5 thousand fighters. According to the investigation log , the project has cost the state and “senior businessmen” from $ 5.1 billion to 10.3 billion. the Sources declined to name the investors and allocate the state share in the project. Therefore, these data are not included in the total calculation of expenses of Russia on the Syrian campaign.

What made

For the year of the Russian operation in Syria, according to the American Institute for research of war (ISW), Damascus has managed to regain control over the territories in the Northern province of Latakia, HOMS and Palmyra. Thanks to the support of the Russian aviation, the government army together with the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iranian Islamic revolutionary guard Corps were able to take in the ring the opposition-controlled areas in the East of Aleppo.

“As a result of actions of the Russian aircraft was broken, and in some places completely stopped resource support to terrorists”, — told in July about the success of the operation, defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. He said that with the support of the Russian aviation for 10 months was freed 586 settlements and more than 12 thousand sq. km of the territory of Syria. New data of the Ministry of defence did not lead.

In particular, in 2016 the terrorist group of ISIS (banned in Russia) lost 12% of previously captured territories of Syria and Iraq. Total monthly income of the terrorist organization, according to estimates of IHS Conflict Monitor, by March 2016 fell from $80 to $56 million According to analysts of the center, a sharp decline in revenue continued throughout the year.

“Islamic radicals over the last year has reduced the opportunities and resources”, — said the Deputy Director of the Institute of political and military analysis Alexander Khramchikhin. However, he notes that in Syria, the Russian army was able to solve a complex problem — to preserve the regime of current President Bashar al-Assad.

“In the Russian armed forces is 798 thousand people are armed with more than a thousand aircraft. And in Syria, in the peak days was not more than 70 aircraft and not more than 3.6 thousand people of staff,” explains the low cost of operation military expert Viktor murakhovski. If the intensity of the fighting in the 40-50 sorties a day Russia may support the military action almost indefinitely, he said.

“If you look at the draft defense budget for the next three years, we will see that this operation does not pledge additional funds, increased funding is not planned”, — says
the head of the Agency “Foreign policy”, Director of the discussion club “Valdai” by Andrey sushentsov. The expert stresses that a small number of groups in Syria allows Russia at any moment to emerge from the campaign unscathed.