School in Syria’s Idlib province not hit by airstrike, drone photos show – Russian MoD


© Russian Defense Ministry
The Russian Defense Ministry says that it dispatched a drone to analyze the site of Wednesday’s alleged bombing of a school in Idlib, Syria. The ministry says that the aircraft spotted no evidence of airstrikes, and accused the White Helmets of faking digital images of the attack.

“On Thursday, a Russian UAV was directed to the area, to conduct detailed digital photography,” said a statement from Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov. “As can be seen from the photos taken by the drone, there are no signs of damage to the roof of the school, or craters from airstrikes around it.”

“We have analyzed the photo and video ‘evidence’ of the supposed attack. The video published in a range of Western media outlets appears to consist of more than 10 different shots, filmed at different times of the day, and in different resolutions that were edited into a single clip,” continued Konashenkov.

“The photograph published by AFP shows that only one wall of the school is damaged, and all the desks inside the classroom are in place. The outer fence seen through the hole has no traces of damage from bomb fragments. In a genuine airstrike this is physically impossible – the furniture would have been swept away by the blast wave, and there would have been damage marks on the classroom wall and the outer fence.”

© Omar Haj Kadour

The Moscow official said that the findings of the Russian drone could be verified by the American side, as during its photo mission, a US MQ-1B Predator UAV was in the same area.

Konashenkov also added that it is an “indisputable fact” that no Russian Air Force plane was present in the airspace in the vicinity of the school on the morning of the supposed attack.

The attack was first reported by the controversial two-man, London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Civil Defense Network, also known as the White Helmets, which claimed that 22 children and six teachers died in an aerial assault on Wednesday morning.

Later the same day, Anthony Lake, executive director of UNICEF, called the incident a “tragedy” and an “outrage,” and said that “if deliberate” it amounted to a “war crime.”

“Our evidence points to UNICEF falling victim to another scam from the White Helmet fraudsters. Before making resonant statements, UNICEF should check its sources more carefully, to protect the reputation of the respected organization,” continued Konashenkov.

The White Helmets is a Western-funded volunteer civil defense body that operates in Syria. Its official mission is to offer first aid to victims of bombings, but Syrian and Russian authorities have accused the White Helmets of spreading anti-government propaganda, and of close ties with Islamist rebels.

© Russian Defense Ministry

Fitch upgrades Russian Helicopters’ rating to “BB+” from “BB”

© Alexandr Ryumin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 26. /TASS/. Fitch Ratings has upgraded Russian Helicopters (affiliate of Rostec state corporation) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘BB+’ from ‘BB’ and affirmed the Short-Term IDR at ‘B’ with the stable outlook, the international rating agency said on Wednesday.

“The upgrade reflects Fitch’s views that the recent improvement in the company’s funds from operations (FFO), whilst essentially caused by the depreciation of the ruble, will probably lead to a sustainably improved financial profile with key financial ratios remaining at a level commensurate with new rating,” Fitch said. Russian Helicopters achieved a structural improvement in its pricing and cost structure and is well placed to apply future expected strong free cash flow towards debt reduction, the rating agency reported.


About 100 aircraft took off to intercept aerial targets in course of the CIS Joint air defence system training

Image may contain: aeroplane

October 27 – In course of the CIS Joint air defence system training, three Tu-160, one Tu-95MS, and two Tu-22M3 long-range bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces took off from airfields and laid course to the Eastern European and Central Asian regions early in the morning.
The long-range bombers are imitating targets for duty forces of the air defence troops of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russian Aerospace Forces, Air Force and Air Defence formations of the Western and Central military districts of the Russian Armed Forces.
Duty forces of radiotechnical and air defence missile troops of the Western and Central military districts as well as the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Kazakhstan have located and engaged simulated targets in time.
MiG-31, Su-27 and MiG-29 aircraft of the duty forces of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Uzbekistan and Armenia took off from the airfields, received target indication, conducted aerial reconnaissance, reached the interception zone and engaged simulated targets.
In total, about 100 aircraft of the CIS Armed Forces have taken off from their airfields.
Aviation, radiotechnical and air defence missile units of the Armed Forces of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are involved in the inspection. Military control bodies and duty forces are practicing operating in cases of the CIS state border breaching by different aircraft and providing aid to aircraft suffering distress.


Joint Russian-Belarusian tactic exercise with airborne insert and combat firing came to an end in the Ryazan Region

Earlier about 350 servicemen and 3 BMD-2 of the Union airborne insert had been dropped on the Novinki landing area from the altitude of 800 meters.

The combined battalion tactic group of peacemaking forces landed on the area, captured the airfield of the simulated enemy allowing the main forces to land safely.

After landing, units of two countries conducted a 50-km marching on BMD-2 and BTR-80 to the area of the Dubrovichi range and captured the advantageous position.

In total, about 600 servicemen and less than 30 pieces of military armored hardware, 10 army aviation aircraft and 6 Il-76 transports were involved in the exercise.

Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu participated in the session of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission for military and technical cooperation


Today, the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation General of the Army Sergei Shoigu jointly with the head of the Indian military department Manohar Parrikar held the 16th session of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission for military and technical cooperation.

Speaking at the session, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu stated that double, and usually, triple standards could not be used while fighting terrorism.

According to Sergei Shoigu, military departments of Russia and India have achieved progress in joint projects, including ones concerning S-400 air defence systems.

He stated that there was a separate large-scale project concerning the fleet.

In his turn, Manohar Parrikar stated that recently signed intergovernmental agreement concerning S-400 complexes and joint production of Ka-226 helicopters had become the evidence of progressive development of military and technical cooperation between two countries. According to him, there good prospects in the nuclear field, too.

The members of the commission summed up results of the last year work, and assigned high-priority tasks in the field of military and technical cooperation of two countries.

The sides have also discussed issues of enhancing bilateral cooperation in accordance to agreements, which had been achieved in course of the visit of the President of the Russian Federation to India on October 15-16, 2016.

Moreover, they exchanged opinions on issues of regional security.

Today, the Minister of Defence General of the Army Sergei Shoigu has held negotiations in the field of defence with his Indian counterpart.

The Head of the Russian defence department invited the Indian specialists to participate in the ARMY-2017 international military and technical forum. He also suggested holding joint exercise of engineer troops of both countries aimed at humanitarian mine clearing on the base of the Russian International Mine Action Center, the specialists of which had taken part in mine-clearing operation in Palmyra.

General of the Army Sergei Shoigu expressed his gratitude to the Indian military servicemen and highly assessed their actions during the International Army Games 2016 and invited them to take part in the Games next year.

Bulletin of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic (October 26, 2016)

Reconciliation of the opposing sides

Within last 24 hours, truce agreements have been signed with representatives of 4 inhabited areas of the Hama (3) and al-Suwayda provinces in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The total number of inhabited areas, the leaders of which had signed reconciliation agreements, has reached 851.

Negotiations on joining ceasefire regime have been continued with field commanders of armed groups in the Muaddamet al-Shikh (Damascus province) and detachments of armed opposition in the Hama, Homs, Aleppo, and al-Quneitra provinces.

The number of ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groupings remained 69.

Ceasefire observation

Within last 24 hours, 61 shellings performed by illegal armed formations have been registered in the provinces of Aleppo (19), Damascus (18), Hama (3), Latakia (3), and Daraa (1).

Armed formations, which had claimed to join the ceasefire regime, have fired improvised MLRS, mortars and small arms against Kafr Batna, Jaubar, Harasta, Blelije, Mazraat Makhmud, and Duma inhabited areas, and positions of the government troops near height 612 in the Damascus province; Azizi inhabited area in the Aleppo province, and Hai al-Antari quarter of the Aleppo city; Kinsibba, Shir Adaba and positions of the government troops near Abu Ali Mountain in the Latakia province.

In the Aleppo province, armed formations of terrorist groupings have fired improvised MLRS, tube artillery, mortars and small arms against Shurfa and Bakirtaya inhabited areas, 1070, 3000, Hai al-Ansari, Dahiya al-Assad, Sheikh Maqsood and Suleiman Khalabi quarters of the Aleppo city,  Kastello trade center, Kastello road, SYRIATEL mobile communication station near Hirbathirs, al-Assad military academy and storages of the cement plant in the Aleppo city, and positions of the government troops near 1070 quarter.

Haush Nasri and Arbil inhabited areas, Ibn al-Walid hospital, secondary school and sports ground in Jaubar, medical service school in Harasta, and positions of the government troops near Duma have been shelled in the Damascus province.

In the Hama province, terrorists have shelled Makharda, railway station in Suran, and thermal power station in Makharda.

Jaba inhabited area has been shelled in the Daraa province.

Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Air Force did not make strikes on opposition armed formations, which follow ceasefire regime and informed the Russian or American Centres for reconciliation about their location.

Humanitarian aid to the population of Syria

Citizens of Hadida (Homs province) and Kafr Akid (Hama province) have received about 4.5 tons and 1 tons of humanitarian cargos respectively.

Posts with hot meal and items of first necessity continue their work for civilians who leave the districts of the Aleppo city, which are under control of terrorist armed groupings.

Russian Aerospace Forces Conduct No Actions in East Aleppo in Past Days


 Eastern districts in Aleppo

   Russia’s deputy foreign minister confirmed that the country’s Aerospace Forces have not operated in eastern Aleppo during the past days in compliance with the humanitarian pause.

   MOSCOW. The Russian Aerospace Forces have not conducted any actions in eastern Aleppo during the past days, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday.

   “The question if it is a full-scale humanitarian pause or not should be probably addressed to the representatives of the Defense Ministry, but I confirm that in the past days the actions of the [Russian] Aerospace Forces in eastern Aleppo have not been conducted, our planes are not flying there,” Ryabkov told journalists.