MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry has repudiated information on supposed secret graves of Russian military servicemen allegedly killed in Syria, the ministry’s spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.
"There have been no alleged ‘secret’ graves of Russian servicemen killed in Syria. Attempts to present individuals who have nothing to do with the armed forces, let alone the operation in Syria, as those killed in action are lies from beginning to end," he noted.
The Russian Defense Ministry thus commented on a Reuters report on the alleged Russian fatalities in Syria. According to Konashenkov, this news agency has repeatedly tried to discredit Russia’s operation to eliminate terrorists of the Islamic State group (IS, outlawed in Russia) and bring peace back to Syria. "It is difficult to forget the Reuters report about the alleged ‘mass fatalities’ caused by ‘Russian bombing raids" in Aleppo in early 2017, when not a single Russian aircraft approached the city. The same applies to the news agency’s subsequent attempt to turn a blind eye to evidence indicating the atrocities committed by militants in Aleppo or mass civilian casualties in Raqqa and Mosul caused by the US-led coalition’s bombing raids," the Russian general noted.
The new information follows this line hand-in-glove, Konashenkov went on to say. "Again, some rumors, social network information and cooked-up conversations with allegedly ‘intimidated’ anonymous ‘relatives and acquaintances’ are used as sources," he said, adding that Russian Armed Forces servicemen are just mentioned in the report, while the article focuses on some "volunteers."
"The Russian Defense Ministry is well aware who is behind this publication and who helped prepare it," Konashenkov stressed.
"Unlike British military servicemen who are in Syria illegally allegedly to fight terrorism, Russian servicemen risk their lives and are sometimes killed while delivering humanitarian aid to Syrians or trying to reconcile the warring parties," he emphasized.