Support The Moscow Times!

Head of Putin's Administration Confirms Russian Planes Were in Syria Before Official Intervention

Sergei Ivanov Maxim Stulov / Vedomosti

Presidential administration head Sergei Ivanov confirmed that Russian planes and equipment had been deployed to Syria in advance of Russia's military campaign there, in an interview with the state-run TASS news agency Monday.

“It's no longer a secret that our military planes and some specialized divisions of the armed forces were sent to Syria in advance,” Ivanov said.

Russia's air strikes, reportedly aimed at destroying facilities controlled by the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria, officially began on Sept. 30.

In the days prior, Western media reported — citing sources in Syria — that Russian military personnel and equipment had been spotted in various parts of the country. Russian authorities, including President Vladimir Putin himself, denied an intervention was under way, saying Russia was simply selling equipment to Syria under governmental contracts.

Answering a question about the authorities denying any military presence in Syria till Sept. 30, Ivanov explained that “we didn't confirm or deny it, we simply didn't comment on it.”

“It's standard international practice. Completely legal, by the way,” he added. “But let's be realists: Everybody understands that it's hard to conceal the transportation of military planes, [things like that] are seen from space,” he said.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more