Over the last seven months, Russia lost at least 40 men in the military campaign in Syria; 17 of them were servicemen of the regular army, the rest served as private military specialists. Reuters provided their own calculations on the issue, based on reports from families and friends of the deceased Russian citizens.
According to Russian defense ministry, ten of their citizens were killed in Syria since the beginning of the year. However, ‘the actual death toll among Russian soldiers and private contractors was at least 40’, the news agency says. The number of fatalities reported over seven months ‘exceeds the 36 Russian armed personnel and contractors estimated by Reuters to have been killed in Syria over the previous 15 months, indicating a significant rise in the rate of battlefield losses as the country's involvement deepens,’ the story reads.
The Russian government denies any involvement of private military specialists in the Syrian conflict; formally, there are no private military companies in Russia.