Girkin: Russia driving new parties of 'cannon fodder' into Syria

Militants from the unrecognized Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR & LPR) are leaving en masse as “volunteers” to the war in Syria, where they will serve as cannon fodder, former DPR Defense Minister Igor Girkin (Strelkov) wrote on his VKontakte page.

“Molkino (a military base where the private military companies involved in combat operations in Syria are trained) is packed with former ‘corps’ fighters and other formations from the ‘separate regions’, who have retired for various reasons or been forced to leave the army,” Girkin writes.

Many of the mercenaries, Girkin writes, do not have documents, or only have a passport from the LPR or DPR. He believes that such fighters in Syria are disenfranchised  “semi-slaves” who are even “taxed” by their leaders.

“And they are treated accordingly: the mercenaries are “taxed” by their leaders. Klunya (whom I knew under this name in Donetsk) – now Zheton – has placed a 10% tax on his company, for example, on threat of expulsion,” he writes.

Girkin explained that the Wagner Group collects two classes of fighters: the elite (for special operations) and the “expendables”. The former mercenaries from the Donbas fall into the second category.

“However, the elite also suffer heavy losses – yesterday I learned that another acquaintance from the Moscow volunteers had died in Syria, together with his whole squad. Eight or nine people at once, on one landmine trap,” Girkin added.

  Igor Girkin, Strelkov, DPR, LPR, Russian mercenaries in Syria, Donbas, Syrian Conflict