Starting from Ukraine and ending up with Syria showed ice-clear that Russian military resources are far from being ad infinitum.
Enormous amounts of military material left after the Soviet Union turned to be ineffective. The picture looks totally grim as regards to the munitions, let alone spares and expendables production facilities.
Similarly things work for all the other military hardware, however the logistics as well as the issue with human resources leave much to be desired from the day one.
Hence, Russia swiftly and systematically re-lifts militants from Donbas to Syria luring them by substantial financial rewards or rich compensation to the families in the event of death.
The idea is very simple and narrow. Kremlin allows back only those who are the part of the Russian standing military units, which means that all the others having neither choice nor prospective but to suffer in resource-hungry Donbas without even a glimpse of normal living.
Under such circumstances so called “fighters for the New Russia” will end up in the Ukrainian custody if they, to a larger degree, will remain alive to see it. Indeed, the situation in Donbas is panic-stricken and hugely explosive. In turn, this leads to the enormous amounts of deaths and casualties. Noteworthy, all valuable cadre has already been moved out of Donbas leaving only those liable to reach their terminus as quickly as possible.
All along Russian propaganda sprawled around Donbas militant units in all its might. Provided one agree to go fighting in Syria, he will be granted Russian citizenship if he presently does not have it, or will benefit financially with the salary ranging in Russian rubles from 90.000 to 250.000 depending on the level of qualification. Propagandists are chanting the notions that the war in Donbas is over, hence Russian interests are now lying with Syria. Another compelling argument on the part of these agitators is that they instill the idea to the pro-Russian militants being nobody- turning-servicemen of Russia on the Syria’s land.
However, the overwhelming majority of mercenaries have no direct link to the armed forces of Russia. They travel to Syria as private figures, join different get-together units controlled by Russia and function single-handedly outside officially-sanctioned Russian military presence in Syria.
Usually those units are stationed near the assembly points of Asad’s troops and are sent to the most difficult parts of the frontline in order to give their lives without even leaving a trace after themselves for the sake of preserving the lives of the Russian soldiers within the legally deployed Russian force in Syria.
Although, formally Russian authorities have no part in sending volunteers in Syria as well as Donbas, the respective recruitment process is full progress not only in DPR/LPR, but Russia itself. Also, it is worth mentioning that in this process along with military registration and enlistment offices, Russian security services are operating almost in the open together with foreign-registered private military companies. However, if the process of recruitment and send-off is fully comprehensible, the way how to return these forlorn fighters back in Russia is as clear as mud, so probably Russian big-wigs simply see no point in that.
Nevertheless, if somebody will still manage to be back at home, they are pre-destined to spend their lives behind the bars for being mercenaries as it was in 2013 with the case of FSB-controlled “Slavic Corps” established from the operatives of private military company “Moran Security Group”.
Furthermore, all those who witnessed Russian atrocities in Ukraine during the rise of Anti-Maidan, annexation of Crimea and war in Donbas are also liable to receive one-way ticket to Syria.
Another topic to attend to it is the issue of the Ukrainian-manufactured military hardware, which was taken by Russia-controlled terrorist in the course of Donbas hostilities. This weaponry may come handy for Russian in staging provocations or fabricating fake evidence regarding arms trafficking routes linking Ukraine and ISIS. This tried-and-tested black propaganda method has been already exploited in 2013, when Russia delivered chemical weapons to Asad’s regime via its military units located in Crimea simultaneously launching through “The Washington Post” a blame campaign with Ukraine at its core.
Recently in his speech to the representatives of the Ministry of Defense of Russian Federation, which was published on president’s web-site, V. Putin made a statement that Russia gives a helping hand both to the official standing army under Bashar el-Asad as well as Free Syrian Army fighting against Asad’s regime. In the light of the aforementioned, it should be recalled the role of FSB towards relieving ISIS with Russian-recruited mercenaries. Under such circumstances it looks like Russia is set to pull at all stops to add fuel to the flame raging around Syria.
To recapitulate, sending militants and weapons to Syria looks as the way out for Russia in terms of avoiding or nipping in the bud a possible revolt or even civil war, which slowly but gradually may start brewing against the backdrop of economic downturn and humanitarian catastrophe. Undoubtedly, this will allow Kremlin to bargain with the West as long as the latter has no desire to have a vast territory of the Middle East to remain in a state of pandemonium regularly fomented by the Syrian furnace.