MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. The Kremlin has no new information about the number of Russians killed in Syria, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"We have no new information," he said, commenting on western media reports citing new numbers. "We have already said all we can say on the matter," the Kremlin spokesman added.
On February 15, Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had not given orders to classify the information about the country’s citizens killed in Syria.
On February 14, the presidential spokesman called on the media to refrain from relying on "distorted information." "We call for adopting a serious approach to reporting about such important events rather than rely on information which has been distorted either deliberately or unintentionally," he said, commenting on media reports claiming that a large number of Russians had been killed in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor on February 7.
Peskov also cited the lack of information when asked about the possibility of declaring a day of mourning. Besides, according to the presidential spokesman, the Kremlin does not have enough information to draw conclusions about the number of Russians who were in Syria at the moment. "We cannot rule out that there may be Russian nationals in Syria but they are not connected with the Armed Forces, and this is all that can be said. In any case, they are still our citizens, no matter what," the Kremlin spokesman concluded.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier that "reports about the death of dozens and even hundreds of Russian nationals are a classic example of disinformation." "There were not 400, 200, 100 or even ten (who died), according to preliminary information, in a fight the cause of which is being investigated. Five people, who allegedly were Russian citizens, may have been killed. Several people suffered wounds but it requires verification, particularly as to whether all of them are Russian nationals," Zakharova said.
"I would like to stress that they are not military servicemen," she added. "The Russian presidential administration and Defense Ministry have promptly clarified that there were no Russian military servicemen in the area targeted by the US-led coalition."