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Russia Orders 20,000 Medals for Syrian Campaign Soldiers

Defense Ministry

Russia's Defense Ministry has ordered 20,000 medals to award to soldiers fighting in Syria.

Officials first ordered a batch of 10,300 medals to honor those fighting in the Syrian campaign in the spring of 2016.

The second order will set the government back some 4.455 million rubles ($78,000), the RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.

The medals are awarded to officers and civilians supporting troops in the conflict, as well as soldiers on the ground in the Middle Eastern country, RIA reported. The policy makes it difficult to use the number to guess how many Russians may be involved in the fighting, analysts told the news outlet.

Later on Tuesday, officials from the Defense Ministry said details of the order were incorrect. Officials said they planned to order only 2,000 medals, the RBC news website reported. The Defense Ministry said the mistake was made in the order forms and will be amended as soon as possible. 

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree in July 2016 giving Russian soldiers who had served in Syria full veteran status.The move guarantees soldiers the right to social support granted to all veterans under Russian law.

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