As reported TASS, during the meeting with officers of the Northern fleet that have distinguished themselves while performing tasks in the Mediterranean sea off the coast of Syria, President Vladimir Putin said that “Syria has accumulated a huge number of fighters from the former Soviet republics and Russia itself.
“According to our preliminary data, in the thousands: according to the General staff of the GRU and our other special services, the FSB, for example, up to about 4 thousand Russian and thousand five republics of the former Soviet Union”, – said the head of state.
In October 2015, when Russia deployed its HQs in Syria, Putin in his speech at the meeting of the Council of heads of States-participants of the CIS declared that the “Islamic state” (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization) at the time fought 5-7 thousand immigrants from the former Soviet Union. of course, we can’t allow that they received today in Syria the experience later would be at our house,” — said the Russian President.
In September 2015, the head of the MIA of Russia Vladimir Kolokoltsev stated that the “Islamic state”fighting 1.8 thousand Russians. In April 2015, Deputy Director of the FSB Sergei Smirnov estimated the number fighting for ISIS the Russians 1.7 million people.
In the course of communication with the officers, Putin also said that his initiative was a campaign of the Russian aircraft carrier group to the coast of Syria. In turn, the commander of the cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov” has informed the head of state that in the course of the campaign was a success in combat to test new military equipment, including the new MiG-29 and Ka-52.