The two Russians showed by ISIS in its recent video are volunteers that had been volunteers fighting on the side of Damascus government against terrorists in Syria, the Russian pro-government media outlet Rusvesna reported.
A media outlet of the Russian Ministry of Defense, TV Zvezda, also released an article citing the report.
According to the report, Roman Zabolotniy (born – 1979) is a cossack. He particiapted in delivering humanitarian aid to a part of Ukraine’s Donbass region controlled by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in 2016.
Another person, Grigory Surkanov (born – 1978), reportedly participated in the Yugoslavia conflict.
The both media outlets reported that Zabolotniy and Surkanov have been involved in the Syrian conflict as a volunteers fighting on the side of pro-government forces. Earlier, reports appeared that they could be civil employees for the Assad government. The situation remains unclear.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported that “there have been no incidents linked with any capture of prisoners or entailing losses among Russian servicemen either in the province of Deir ez-Zor [Deir Ezzor] or in any other Syrian province.” So, it’s officially that Zabolotniy and Surkanov are not service members of Russian task forces in Syria.