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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 08:12 PM

9. I don't know what "Russian contract soldiers" means here.

It could mean Russian soldiers who are mercenaries, having contracted on their own with Assad. There are such. And given the way that "Russian" is now citizenship and now cultural affiliation and now ethnicity, they could be monolingual Nokhchiin-speaking Chechens.

But the Russian army is no longer conscript, but under contract. They're not "irregulars" any more than the US soldiers who sign a contract when they join are.

Then there's the weird hybrid status that, say, some of the Donbas Russian troops had. Their contracts were officially allowed to lapse but they continued to draw pay and follow orders, and in some cases upon return from their tour of duty in Donets'k their contract was reinstated.

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