Recently, Reuters published an article about several Russians killed in Syria. They were awarded the Order of Courage posthumously. The legal status of the killed is unclear because it is not acknowledged officially. It is most likely they were “privateers” – fighters hired by private military companies (PMCs). We have already written about Russian PMCs but let’s clarify how private they are.
In August, in the article on “the medal standings” , we reported that Russian soldiers killed in Syria and in the Donbas were awarded the Order of Courage posthumously.
It is always amusing to read stories about mythical Russian PMCs, dogs of war who want to make some money, etc. However, let’s consider the facts: “servicemen” of Vagner’s PMC were trained on the base of the 10th Separate Special Purpose Brigade GRU in Molkino and transported by state aircraft to Syria and back. They were treated in state military hospitals when got wounded and received state awards when killed.
Don’t you think that there are no PMCs in Russia? After all, what does “P” in PMC stand for? “P” means “private”.
If this (P)MC is funded by the state, formed using resources of the state military, and afterwards its servicemen receive state awards, it means that this is just another state military unit.
There are no PMCs in Russia, but SMC – state military companies, in other words, this is the Russian Army and Russian special agencies that want to hide their presence in a particular region.
The fact that the media call them “private” is just an extension of Russian propaganda when an obvious fact is given a non-obvious name that blurs and changes its meaning.
For example, describing the events in Crimea, instead of the logical and correct words “Russian army” or “Russian occupiers”, the media used terms “green men” or “polite people”. As a result, the media have given the Russia’s military aggression in Crimea and its troops a peaceful connotation and played along with Russian propaganda. Perhaps, many did not have bad intentions, but those who threw these terms into circulation knew very well what they were doing.
So, when the media talk about some “private” armies in Syria instead of calling it “Russian army”, you can simply ask yourself: why these “privateers” are fully supplied by the government – starting with training, transportation and medical treatment to the posthumous honoring with military awards?
P.S. Though, it seems that ordinary Russians do not care much about their losses in Syria:
Translated by Volodymyr Bogdanov
Edited by Svitlana Kemblowski
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