Slavonic Corps (Syria)

Country: Syria
Details of Formation: In October 2013 an unknown Syrian oligarch with links to the Syrian government contracted the (Hong Kong-registered) Slavonic Corps Ltd. through the Moran Security Group, a Moscow-based private military company. The contract was designed to last five months.
Details of Termination: The contract lasted only one month. In October, the Slavonic Corps conducted their one and only offensive campaign, which turned out to be a disaster. Subsequently, the PMC retreated from Syria. According to the company, their retreat was due to a failure of the Syrian counterpart to fulfill their financial obligations and that the contract had apparently been broken. The Russian PMC members then flew back to Russia in the end of October in two chartered planes. In 2014, a court in Moscow convicted two of the group leaders, Vadim Gusev and Pavel Sidorov, to three years of prison for setting up an illegal mercenary squad and deploying it to fight in Syria.
Purpose: Their main stated purpose was to guard and defend economic facilities of Syria to free Syrian army troops from this duty so that they could fight in the battle against the insurgents. Evidence suggests that the group was also used for actively fighting against rebels.
Organisation: Members of this PGM were part of the Slavonic Corps Ltd, a unit registered in Hong Kong. They were hired by the Moran Security Group (a Moscow-based private military company) on behalf of a Syrian oligarch affiliated with President Assad. The exact identity of the Syrian oligarch is not mentioned by news sources. Vadim Gusev and Pavel Sidorov were the group leaders. In Syria, the Slavonic Corps served in the private army of the Syrian oligarch.
Weapons and Training: The Slavonic Corps members were given assault rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers and other Soviet-era hardware. Some of their equipment was 70 years old.
Size: Members of the Slavonic Corps said that the group had 267 mercenaries. The court verdict against the group’s leaders spoke of a 250-person unit.
Reason for Membership: Members were mercenaries motivated by the economic incentive of making $4,000 per month. The Slavonic Corps also contracted Shabiha members. Upon arrival, members became aware that they would serve in the private army of a Syrian oligarch instead of what they had been told. They could not return to Russia, as a return ticket costs money and they would have to work it off first. It is not clear whether members received a payment, because the group left Syria early due to a disagreement on financial issues with their host.
Treatment of Civilians: --
Other Information: --
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD