The Russian daily ‘Novaya Gazeta’ has released photos of two Syria guideboocks allegedly distributed among members of battalion “Sever” (“North”), a chechen battalion from the Natonal Guard of Russia.
The guidebooks were reportedly leaked to the daily by a member of the battalion.
The first brochure appeares to be a kind of survival guidebook. It provides info on Syria in general, translation of common and military phrases from Russian to Arabic, and some common tips (for example about drinking water and avoiding to use social networks). The guidbook is heavily illustrated.
Indeed, its credibility is questionable. There are serious doubts that Russian military servicemen need illustrations of common military equipment (battle tanks, pickups, armoured vehicles etc) and weapons (AK-47, RPG-7, mortar shells etc) to understand what is it.
The second guidebook allegedly contains info about Syria, its regions, languages, local issues etc. According to the report, it does not contain illustrations. However, Novaya Gazeta does not proivde photos of the guidebook’s content.
According to Novaya Gazeta, the second brochure is printed by “64th National Guard brigade”. The problem is that the 64th National Guard brigade does not exist. The so-called battalion”Sever” is a part of the 46th National Guard brigade. The report supposes that this is a misprint or an attempt to hide the source of the content.
While credibility problems cannot be ignored, the style of the guidebooks looks similar to Soviet guidebooks prepared for people carrying out their internationalist duty across the world.
The ‘analitical part’ of Novaya Gazeta’s article is based on the mainstream media narrative and pushes ideas that the Syrian War is a “sectarian conflict” and that Syrian government forces conduct “cleansings very close to the definition of genocide”.
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