The recent attack on Khmeymim airbase, where the Russian military contingent is stationed, took lives of two soldiers of regular Russian army; it also destroyed seven Russian airplanes – on December 31, the same day when Russia’s Air Force lost another helicopter.
Russian media and the Defense Ministry reported destruction of at least four Su-24 bombers, two Su-35 fighters, An-72 transport vessel and an ammunition depot.
Commenting on the attack, Ukraine’s Secretary of National Security and Defense Oleksandr Turchynov said that was the most sizeable loss of the Russian military in Syria since the campaign began in 2011.
‘Putin’s propagandist claims about the victory of the Russian military in Syria, which marked the beginning of his fourth presidential run became a shameful farce, while the military parade of Russian troops on the Syrian spoil turned into the funeral procession,’ he said, adding that the Russian authorities failed to conceal the losses.
In early December 2017, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said that major part of the Russian contingent will be withdrawn from Syria. However, Russia will carry on with the military presence at Khmeymim airbase.
Six years of the conflict in Syria claimed over 450,000 lives; millions of people became refugees.