Topic: Protests in Syria
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YAROSLAVL, September 20 (RIA Novosti) – Some 300 to 400 Russians are fighting in the Syrian civil war as soldiers of fortune, a senior official in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) told reporters on Friday.
However, as those soldiers return home, it will pose a “great danger” to Russian security, FSB first deputy director Sergei Smirnov said after a board meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s anti-terrorism department.
Recruiting mercenaries is a real practice, Smirnov said, and preventing this kind of activity isn’t mentioned in Russian law. “We still need to work on that,” he added.
Smirnov's estimate was significantly higher than one made in May by FSB head Alexander Bortnikov, who claimed that a total of about 200 mercenaries from Russia, Europe and Central Asia were fighting in the civil war.
Smirnov said Friday that the SCO board meeting did not directly discuss the mercenary issue, but that Russian officials had privately talked about it with other member state representatives and found that they were also concerned.
The SCO, a Eurasian political, economic and military cooperative founded in Shanghai in 2001, includes China, Russia and the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Last year, the Syrian government presented the United Nations Security Council with lists of hundreds of foreign nationals who had been killed fighting against government forces in Syria. The lists included mercenaries from Arab countries, Europe, and Russia’s North Caucasus region, including Chechnya.
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- Mikhail1228Krasnodar Krai (Region)18:54, 20/09/2013Some reporters are raising an alarm bell about 400 mercenaries from Russia’s volatile North Caucuses region returning home from Syria and causing trouble for the olympics. These reporters know very little about this region. Sochi is located in the Krasnodar region. This region is home to the Kuban Cossacks. In American terms this would be like a tougher and much larger version of a Montana Militia. Cossacks are armed to the teeth with state-of-the-art Russian weaponry. They are Orthodox Christians trained from the age of a toddler to fight and whose sole purpose in life is to protect Orthodox Christians and the Russian Motherland. I really don't think that any Muslim from the Caucasus, even ones battle hardened from Syria are going to like this neighborhood very much. They are outnumbered more than 10 X 1 and cossack will enjoy giving them all dirt naps!!!
- gunshipdemocracyБоже, Храни Россию21:33, 20/09/2013Porky mercenaries. They are and will be financed by Saudis and Qatar with silent but clear approval from Pentagon.
But Cossacks surely will prevail, no doubts about it.
- arsanlupinI don’t doubt you …00:42, 23/09/2013Mikhail, everything you say makes sense, and I feel confident that both the Russian security services and the local populace will all be on high alert. However, it’s depressingly easy to stage a terrorist attack, because the terrorists can choose the time and the place to strike. Security can’t be totally airtight in the entire city, home to 350,000 people over 3500 square kilometers, and soon to be hosts of far more. Security has to be perfect everywhere, every time. The terrorists only need to find an opening once – and in such a time and place there is an awful lot of potential openings. I pray that all goes well for the Olympics, but I also hope that any and all security are constantly vigilant, and I hope that residents and visitors alike are very, very careful. Otherwise Russia will have another Beslan massacre.
- RabbitnexusScum gathers more of it's own.10:17, 22/09/2013The scum on the side of the demonic Wahhabis and Zionists will be the most cowardly, vicious and ignorant. Sewer trash the lot of them and Russia will deal with them efficiently if they bring home any of their filthy behaviour.
- arsanlupinSounds like a crock of Shiite to me!01:06, 23/09/2013"Demonic" Wahhabis? "Cowardly, vicious, ignorant"? Sounds like a Shiitey thing to say about a fellow Muslim, Bugs! Do I sense just a little religious and ethnic intolerance here? Or is it just a small part of the feeling you get when you realize that your hateful little group is despised by not only almost the entire planet, but also almost 90% of Islam itself? I guess it just sucks to be you!
Also, what do Russian mercenaries (Islamic or otherwise) have to do with the Israelis? In case you haven’t noticed, Russia has historically abused and persecuted Jews worse than Muslims. This comment is nothing more than a random insult against a group that has no involvement in the conflict OR the article’s topic – because you don’t like the twisted and diseased version of them your sick mind has dreamt up.
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Violent suppression of protests can lead not to stabilization but just the opposite. It forces Yanukovych to seek solidarity only in Moscow. It puts Russia in a position where it will again be involved in Ukrainian politics. And in this murky swamp, we have repeatedly gotten bogged down.