Putin Estimates Number of Militants from Former Soviet Union in Syria at 9,000

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According to the Russian President, there are 9,000 militants from Russia and former republics of the Soviet Union in Syria.

Putin Estimates Number of Militants from Former Soviet Union in Syria at 9,000

Photo: Getty Images / Anadolu Agency

A huge number of militants from Russia and former republics of the Soviet Union have accumulated in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with officers of the Russian Northern Fleet.

“According to our preliminary data, the number is measured in thousands. According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the FSB [Federal Security Service], there are some 4,000 [of militants] from Russia and about 5,000 from republics of the former Soviet Union,” the President said.

The Russian President noted that given the fact that Russia has a visa-free regime between the countries, primarily, “this hotbed of terrorism on the territory of Syria” is a great danger for Russia.

“Conducting combat missions far from native borders, you directly contributed to ensuring the security of the Russian Federation,” Putin added, referring to the officers.

At the same time, he stressed that Russian military caused significant damage to terrorists in Syria, and this contributed to positive results of efforts of all the countries, which take part in fight against international terrorism, as well as to creation of conditions for continuation of the peace talks between the Syrian government and the armed opposition.

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