On the fourth anniversary of the start of Russia’s military intervention 6,686 civilians were killed says a report from the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).

The 40-page report reveals a number of fallacies and blatant lies being marketed by the Russian Ministry of Defense, noting that Russia denies any bombing of hospitals or Civil Defense facilities, targeting of residential neighbourhoods, or involvement in establishing political initiatives aimed at restoring the regime’s long-lost legitimacy and enabling the dynastic dictatorship ruling Syria to rule for more decades even after it has committed tens of thousands of crimes against humanity.

Instead, all the statements and media reports issued by or on behalf of Russian authorities claim that Russia is engaged solely in killing terrorists and assisting the Syrian people, that it has shown no favouritism towards the Assad family, and that its forces are fully bound by international law.

The report analyses the data of the Russian Ministry of Defense, noting that it repeatedly announces its operations and the results of its airstrikes in the most general and indeterminate of terms, claiming that it has killed thousands of terrorist militants, without specifying the areas and neighborhoods where this supposedly happened, and without mentioning or identifying the terrorist organization in question and the locations under its control.

Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairman of the SNHR, said, “We cannot trust any political settlement process sponsored or supervised by Russia, which has, since the early days, supported the Syrian regime in its brutal operations and crimes against humanity, enabling these by 13 UN vetoes.

"The first veto was on October 4, 2011, that is, before the emergence of any local or extremist military organization, as well as through support for the regime with arms and experts, and finally, through direct military intervention, bombardment and killing alongside Syrian Regime forces, Russia is implicated in war crimes and must apologise for these crimes, then repair what it destroyed, compensate the victims, and stop supporting the dynastic dictatorship of one family in Syria; after that, political transition towards democracy, human rights and the reconstruction and stability of Syria and its society can be discussed.”

The report mentions a typically misleading statement published by the Russian Ministry of Defense in which the ministry claimed that approximately 650,000 Syrians had returned to Syria from countries of asylum, and a further approximately 1.3 million IDPs had returned to their homes, while failing to mention that the latest brutal Russian operations in northwestern Syria have displaced more than 630,000 people.

As for its military operations along the entire Astana route, Russia is directly responsible for the displacement of most of the population from areas of Eastern Ghouta, southern Syria and, more recently, areas in northwestern Syria, with the report estimating the total number of people internally displaced as a result of Russian attacks and disregard for de-escalation agreements is at least 3.3 million.

The report notes that while Russia has regularly declared its intention to withdraw its troops from Syria, the reality on the ground is completely at odds with these claims, with Russian forces continuously strengthening their military presence in the country and gradually dominating the capabilities of the Syrian state, particularly in light of the current ruling authorities in Syria, which care only for the survival of the current dynastic family rule in Syria even if this survival costs the destruction of the Syrian state and the killing and displacement of millions of Syrians.

The report notes that the Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) reports issued since 2017 up until the last report have failed to assign responsibility to the Russian forces for incidents and violations it committed, except in the cases of only two incidents, urging the COI to clearly identify criminals as clearly as it did in its initial reports.

The report recommends that the OHCHR should submit a report to the Human Rights Council and other UN organs on the incidents included in this report, since these were carried out by forces we believe were Russian in coordination with government forces, and should clearly name the perpetrators of violations, especially those by Russian forces, after they bombed dozens of medical facilities and Civil Defense centers, and urges these bodies not to be fearful of exposing such practices.

The report calls on the Russian regime to stop supporting the current Syrian regime, to apologize to the Syrian people for all violations committed by Russian forces, and to support a genuine political transition away from the dynastic dictatorship of one family and its brutal security services, stressing that this is the only way to achieve security, stability and reconstruction.

It further urges the Russian regime to launch an investigation into the incidents included in this report, to make the findings of those investigations public to the Syrian people, to hold those who were involved accountable, to compensate all the damaged centers and facilities, rehabilitate them, and to pay reparations to all the families of the wounded and the victims who were killed by the present Russian regime.