A battalion of elite paratroopers also ghosted into the war-torn country this week as Putin ramps up his assault on the Islamist fanatics and rebel forces fighting to topple dictator Bashar al-Assad.
The Spetsnaz: Many of the men have a deep hatred of jihadis from their time fighting in Chechnya’s bloody civil war, when Islamist fanatics battling for independence carried out frequent atrocities against Russian citizens.
A military source told the Mirror: “They are extremely aggressive and highly trained.
“They are there to mop up after air strikes, call in air strikes, go on extremely covert missions against rebels and ultimately wipe them out.
“And they will not be as accountable as British or US special forces. They are there for one reason, to wipe out anyone threatening Assad. By any means. And by doing that they will be consolidating Russia’s position on the Med and in the Middle East.”
This is what’s happening: