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Russian soldier dies in Palmyra protecting military advisors — ministry

March 06, 2017, 19:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Artyom Gorbunov died near Palmyra, rebuffing an attempt by a group of Islamic State militants to attack positions of Syrian troops and Russian military advisors

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MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. A Russian contract soldier died near Syrian Palmyra on March 2, when a group of IS militants attempted to attack the positions of Syrian troops, where Russian military advisors were at the moment, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Monday.

"Contract soldier Artyom Gorbynov was conducting a mission in the Syrian Arab Republic to protect a group of Russian military advisors. Gorbunov died on March 2 in the area of Palmyra, rebuffing an attempt by a group of Islamic State militants to attack positions of Syrian troops, where Russian military advisers were at the moment," the Defense Ministry reported.

The ministry said the Russian soldier was recommended for an award posthumously. 

Earlier, media outlets claimed that another soldier, Ivan Slyshkin, 23, had been killed on a combat mission as part of the Russian military contingent in Syria.

The Kremlin had no information on the death of a 23-year-old Russian soldier in Syria, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier on Monday. The presidential spokesman readdressed this question to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

"In this case, it is better to turn to the Defense Ministry for a comment," the Kremlin spokesman said.

The ministry disproved the reports, saying that a resident of Russia’s Chelybinsk region, Ivan Slyshkin, had indeed been on a compulsory military service, but was transferred to the reserve under the established procedure in 2013.

Russia launched its anti-terroir operation in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. A comprehensive ceasefire was announced on the entire territory of Syria from December 30 last year. The truce agreement was concluded by the Syrian government troops and armed opposition groupings numbering more than 60,000 fighters. Russia and Turkey are acting as the truce guarantors.

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