On Sunday, Russian state VGTRK TV channel released a video that had somewhat lifted a veil of secrecy over Russian Ministry of Defense’s Special Operation Forces (SOF) and their role in Syrian war.
The reportage is focused on a commander of a SOF unit regularly operating in Syria, Colonel Vadim, whose first name might well be fictitious, while his last name is not disclosed at all. Speaking to a VGTRK correspondent, the commander reveals some details about SOF’s mission in Syria. Based on his words, the primary objectives of the operations carried out by his unit in this Middle Eastern country can be summarized as follows:
- Providing the Russian Air Force with target designation which allows fighter jets and attack helicopters to carry out precise airstrikes on positions and movements of various jihadists groups;
- Carrying out special operations in the enemy’s rear, that include intelligence data collection and liquidation of jihadist field commanders;
- Destroying fortified positions of the jihadists and thus propelling Syrian Arab Army’s advance;
- Supporting the SAA in crucial battles.
Colonel also described, in a few words, the level of secrecy that covers all of his unit’s operations.
“My wife does not even ask where I am heading when I leave,” he said.
“She does guess, I think,” he added answering the reporter’s question about whether Colonel’s spouse is aware of his assignments in Syria.
A significant part of the reportage is dedicated to description of process of SOF officers’ combat training. Every officer is being prepared to combat in basically any areas (deserts, forests, mountains, water), any weather conditions and in any season.
It is noteworthy to mention that, according to a decree signed by the President of the Russian Federation, Colonel was awarded with the highest Russian honorary title, “Hero of the Russian Federation” Gold Star medal.