Reuters: 131 Russian citizens died in Syria in 2017

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According to Reuters referring to a document from Russian consulate, 131 Russian citizens died in the first nine months of 2017, including those who went there through private military companies (PMCs).

A “death certificate” number 131, issued by the diplomatic mission in Damascus on October 4th, can reveal the scale of Russian losses in Syria among private military specialists, whose existence is denied by Moscow. At the same time, there is no data on the death of servicemen, said an employee of the Russian consulate. According to him, the Russian consulate does not deal with deaths of the military.

It is impossible to establish how many Russians died from natural causes in the republic where the war is going on. An unnamed diplomat, who worked in a Russian consulate, believes that 131 deaths in 9 months is an unusually high number.

According to UN data, the average mortality among Russians under normal conditions is 13 deaths per thousand people per year.

The document that Reuters refers to mentions the death of Sergei Poddubny, a 36-year-old resident of the Krasnodar Territory in the Homs province of Syria on September 28th.

“Poddubny’s certificate, which bears the consulate’s stamp, lists the cause of death as ‘carbonization of the body’ – in other words, he was burned,” Reuters writes.

The journalists saw two more certificates, which referred to the deaths on January 29th and January 31th of Dmitry Markelov and Yuri Sokalsky. According to their relatives, they were mercenaries of PMC. Both certificates were issued on February 3rd, and have numbers 9 and 13, meaning that at least 5 people died between those dates.

In total, Reuters received independent confirmations of the deaths of 26 Russian private military specialists. All these cases refer to this year. The information came from their relatives, friends, and also by officials in the places where they lived.

Source: Rosbalt