MESOP NEWS SYRIA : PUTIN & THE “WAGNER GROUP” – Russian Troops Among Pro-Assad Forces Killed by US Airstrikes


By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – February 13, 2018 –  Alexey Ladygin, a fighter with the Russian private military company Wagner Group, killed by US airstrikes in eastern Syria on February 8, 2018 –  Russian troops were among pro-Assad forces killed by US airstrikes last Thursday, after the Americans intervened to check an attack on the US-supported, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria. The US military said the strikes slew more than 100 troops, part of a 500-strong force that tried to seize a gas plant from the SDF in Deir ez-Zor Province, east of the Euphrates River. Soon after the assault, photos and messages on social media claimed Russian casualties. An analyst specializing in coverage of Russian “private military companies”, Roman Saponkov, estimated that 20 to 25 of their fighters were killed.

The Kremlin and its military use the PMCs, such as the Wagner Group, to officially deny the extent of Russian involvement on the ground in Syria. After the US strikes, Russia’s Defense Ministry said no Russian troops were in the pro-Assad operations.

But on Monday, the Russian-based Conflict Intelligence Team summarized posts on social media from relatives and colleagues that identified some of the dead. In addition to Alexey Ladygin, whose death was reported soon after the battle, Stanislav Matveev and Igor Kosoturov were named as casualties. A Russian Baltic Cossack organization said one of its members, Vladimir Loginov, was killed.

All four men appear to have been members of the Wagner Group.Colleagues spoke to Reuters about the death of Loginov and added a fifth name, Kirill Ananiev. Maxim Buga, a leader of the Cossack community that included Loginov, said “dozens” of Russian fighters were killed.

Meanwhile, a prominent social media account claiming ties with the Assad military published video and photos of the funerals for some of the slain members of the “ISIS Hunters” militia, which draws many of its fighters from Hama Province:

The account also circulated a photograph of militiamen from Hama Province with Russian troops: