In the follow-up investigation, Fontanka interviewed some of the mercenaries and told the story of the Russian fighters who, like Keystone Cossacks, deployed to Syria on false premises and ultimately abandoned their dysfunctional mission at the first sign of combat. Leaving Syria in disgrace, and having lost a backpack full of incriminating documents, the mercenaries were not paid, and several high-ranking members of their company were arrested by the FSB upon return to Russia.Several unanswered questions remain. Did the FSB really not know that one of their commanders was the head of a private military company that was sending fighters into Syria to fight for Assad? Did the Russian government know about this incident? Are there more Russians fighting for Assad? Would the mercenaries have been arrested if their mission was successful?
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