Slavonic Corps

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Slavonic Corps
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
Active October 2013
Headquarters Lattakia
Area of operations Deir ez-Zor Governorate
Size 267 (October 2013)
Allies Syrian Armed Forces
National Defense Force
Opponents Syria Free Syrian Army
Al-Nusra Front
Battles and wars

Syrian Civil War

The Slavonic Corps (Russian: Славянский Корпус) is a Hong Kong registered,[1] private military contractor that operated during the Syrian Civil War.

Formation[edit]

In the spring of 2013, job ads by a Hong Kong-based company emerged on various Russian military related websites. The ads promised 5,000 USD per month for guard duties protecting Syrian energy facilities during the Syrian Civil War. The ads attracted the attention of former members of OMON, SOBR, VDV and Spetsnaz; many of them had previous military experience in the Tajikistani Civil War as well as the Second Chechen War.[2]

Deployment[edit]

After initially traveling to Beirut, Lebanon, the mercenaries were first transferred to Damascus, Syria and then to a Syrian army base in Latakia. By October, the Slavonic Corps had a strength of 267 contractors divided into two companies that were present in Latakia.[3]

The contractors were provided with outdated equipment which raised concerns among the participants. They soon realized that the FSB and the Syrian government had no involvement with the operation. Those wishing to return to Russia were left with no choice but to earn their ticket back through direct participation in the Syrian Civil War. The new goal of the Slavonic Corps was described as guarding the oil fields of Deir ez-Zor. Instead of the promised T-72s, the contractors were provided with metal plate covered buses. On their way to Deir ez-Zor, the column encountered a Syrian air force helicopter which collided with a transmission line and crashed into the caravan, injuring one of the contractors.[4]

On 18 October, the column received orders to reinforce Syrian army forces in the city of Al-Sukhnah. Three hours into its journey, the column came under attack. With the aid of a Syrian army, self-propelled gun and air support from a single fighter jet the contractors assumed a defensive position. Jaysh al-Islam fighters numbering from two to six thousand men (according to the Russians) attempted a pincer movement. Vastly outnumbered, the contractors retreated to their vehicles as a desert storm covered the battlefield. In the aftermath of the battle six Slavonic Corps members were wounded.[4] A contractor lost his ID card, which was captured by the rebels. [5] Failing to achieve its goals, the group returned to Russia. Immediately after arriving at Vnukovo International Airport, the participants were arrested by the FSB on charges of acting as mercenaries, which is an act punishable under the article number 348 of the Russian criminal law. Despite the fact that the company was registered in Hong Kong, the owners were also arrested.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Registration Document". Hong Kong Companies. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Last battle of the Slavic Corps". Fontanka. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Insane Story of Russian Mercenaries Fighting for the Syrian Regime". Huffington Post. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Industry Talk: The Slavonic Corps–A Russian PMSC In Syria". Feral Jundi. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "If What We’re Being Told About Russian Mercenaries Is True, It Could Add a Whole New Dimension to the Syria Crisis". Sara Carter. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2017.