US Journalists in Awe of Living Conditions at Russia’s Airbase in Syria

© Sputnik / Dmitriy Vinogradov / Go to the photo bankRussian tactical group seen at Hmeymim aerodrome in Syria
Russian tactical group seen at Hmeymim aerodrome in Syria - Sputnik International
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Russian soldiers in Syria live in neat housing units, eat in a clean canteen and wear crisp new uniforms, AP journalists reported after visiting the Hemeimeem Airbase in Latakia.

The first thing the journalists noticed was that the Russian military involved in the airstrike campaign in Syria bore absolutely no resemblance to the old, Soviet-style decaying force that Western journalists are often willing to create in their mind when describing the Russian army.

"Soldiers at the base are visibly proud of their crisp new uniforms and comfortable sand-colored high boots, a stark contrast with the drab Soviet-style military attire worn until recently," — AP reported.

The journalists were also particularly impressed with soldiers' housing units, equipped with air conditioning and plenty of shower cabins in them.

"A field kitchen and a canteen look immaculately clean, a sight to shock anyone familiar with crude ways of the old-style Russian military," AP said, noting a vivid contrast with Soviet army canteens in Afghanistan and Chechnya.

© Photo : Russian Defense MinistryWork of journalists on air base "Hmeymim" in Syria
Work of journalists on air base Hmeymim in Syria - Sputnik International
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Work of journalists on air base "Hmeymim" in Syria
© Photo : Russian Defense MinistryWork of journalists on air base "Hmeymim" in Syria
Work of journalists on air base Hmeymim in Syria - Sputnik International
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Work of journalists on air base "Hmeymim" in Syria
© Sputnik / Dmitry VinogradovRussian soldiers at the Hmeymim base in Syria
Russian soldiers at the Hmeymim base in Syria - Sputnik International
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Russian soldiers at the Hmeymim base in Syria
© Sputnik / Dmitry VinogradovRussian soldiers at the Hmeymim base in Syria
Russian soldiers at the Hmeymim base in Syria - Sputnik International
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Russian soldiers at the Hmeymim base in Syria
© Sputnik / Dmitriy Vinogradov / Go to the photo bankRussian Sukhoi Su-24 frontline bomber lands at Hemeimeem airbase in the Latakia province, Syria.
Russian aircraft at Hemeimeem Air Base in Syria - Sputnik International
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Russian Sukhoi Su-24 frontline bomber lands at Hemeimeem airbase in the Latakia province, Syria.
© Sputnik / Dmitry Vinogradov / Go to the photo bankRussian aircraft at Hmeymim Air Base in Syria
Russian aircraft at Hmeymim Air Base in Syria - Sputnik International
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Russian aircraft at Hmeymim Air Base in Syria
© Sputnik / Dmitriy Vinogradov / Go to the photo bankRussian servicemen attach a Kh-25 high-precision missile to a Su-24 aircraft at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.
Russian military air group at Hmeymim airbase in Syria - Sputnik International
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Russian servicemen attach a Kh-25 high-precision missile to a Su-24 aircraft at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.
© Sputnik / Dmitriy Vinogradov / Go to the photo bankA Russian pilot gets into a Su-24 aircraft before taking off at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.
Russian military air group at Hmeymim airbase in Syria - Sputnik International
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A Russian pilot gets into a Su-24 aircraft before taking off at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.
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Work of journalists on air base "Hmeymim" in Syria
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Work of journalists on air base "Hmeymim" in Syria
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Russian soldiers at the Hmeymim base in Syria
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Russian soldiers at the Hmeymim base in Syria
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Russian Sukhoi Su-24 frontline bomber lands at Hemeimeem airbase in the Latakia province, Syria.
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Russian aircraft at Hmeymim Air Base in Syria
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Russian servicemen attach a Kh-25 high-precision missile to a Su-24 aircraft at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.
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A Russian pilot gets into a Su-24 aircraft before taking off at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.

These positive changes in the Russian military are the result of the hard work of Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister widely popular among soldiers and officers alike, AP said.  Shoigu, indeed, has the reputation of a man who can get things done.

International Journalists Take Tour of Russia's Syrian Air Base - Sputnik International
International Journalists Tour Russia's Syrian Air Base
Over the past several years, Russia successfully modernized its military program. The Air Force, for example, received hundreds of new aircraft, equipped with cutting-edge electronics that are on a par with US and NATO jets, AP pointed out.

With airstrikes in Syria, Russia has shown its full military capacity at a level that most US experts didn't expect. After Russia launched cruise missiles at ISIL-targets in Syria from ships located in the Caspian Sea, it raised a few eyebrows in the West, as the US military will now have to figure out how to deal with the unprecedented way of firing missiles from a long range.

On September 30, Russia launched a multinational aerial campaign aimed at assisting Damascus-led forces in their fight against terrorist groups trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad. The operation was authorized by legitimate Syrian authorities. 

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