icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
21 Jun, 2019 08:35

Private security firms operating in Syria not linked to Russian state – Putin

Private security firms operating in Syria not linked to Russian state – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is aware of private security firms operating in Syria, but they don’t work with the Russian military and aren’t considered combatants.

During his annual Direct Line Q&A session on Thursday, Putin was asked about the possibility of granting ‘combatant’ status to the employees of private security companies, who were allegedly killed in Syria.

Earlier in June, unconfirmed media reports claimed that one such firm, allegedly connected to Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, had suffered casualties in the country.

“As for private companies, including private security companies… they are really present there. But it’s not the Russian state and they aren’t participants in the warfare.”

Also on rt.com We won’t sell out our allies or principles to strike Syria deal with US, says Putin

The employees of such firms fulfil tasks related to “oil production and exploration of deposits” in Syria, the president said, acknowledging that they still risk their lives and contribute to the fight against terrorism.

As for the reports of casualties among the private security firm personnel, he reiterated that “it’s not the Russian state and not the Russian military, so we don’t comment on anything here.”

Prigozhin gained infamy in the West in recent years after being accused of organizing so-called “internet troll-factories,” with the alleged aim of influencing the outcome of US elections. The man was described as being a member of Putin’s inner circle.

President Putin, however, has said on several occasions that despite being acquainted, they were never associates or friends.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!