He recalled that on December 31, Russian troops in Syria sustained the greatest losses during the entire military operation, the NSDC's press service reported on Thursday, January 4.
"Putin's propaganda statement about the victory of the Russian military in Syria, with which he began his fourth presidential election campaign, has turned into a shameful farce, and a military parade he oversaw on Syrian land has turned into a funeral procession," Turchynov said.
He recalled that at least four Su-24 bombers, two Su-35S fighter jets, an An-72 military transport aircraft and an ammunition depot had been destroyed at the Russian Khmeimim Air Base.
"A Russian Mi-24 helicopter was destroyed on the same day, while performing a combat mission," he said, adding that the Russian General Staff and the Russian Defense Ministry did no manage to conceal such large-scale losses.
Earlier, Russian media outlet Kommersant, referring to military and diplomatic sources, reported that seven aircraft were destroyed as a result of a mortar attack at the Russian Khmeimim Air Base in Syria on December 31. In particular, according to the report, at least four Su-24 bombers, two Su-35S fighter jets and an An-72 military transport aircraft were destroyed. The ammunition depot was also destroyed. The report notes that more than ten soldiers were injured as a result of the attack, but it does not specify whether they were Russians.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed media reports of a December 31 attack on the Khmeimim Air Base in Syria, but dismissed data on the destruction of seven Russian military aircraft. The ministry added that two Russian servicemen had been killed in the attack.