The head of the southern Russian region of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has denied media reports that he deployed troops to Syria to fight on the side of President Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, the Kremlin and the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament, have been forced to explain footage of Russian forces fighting in Syria recently aired during a prime-time TV show.
The Kremlin has repeatedly claimed that Russia’s involvement in Syria is limited to air support for the Syrian government forces, and that Russian troops have not been, and will not be, involved in ground operations.
But on Sunday, a weekly show on state television hosted by Dmitry Kiselev, the head of Russia’s Sputnik international broadcasting corporation, featuredfootage of Russian commandos in combat operations in Syria.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on the footage, redirecting inquiries to the Defense Ministry.