Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told journalists Saturday that he rejects the slightest possibility of recruiting Russian citizens for warfare in Afghanistan. "We keep a very close eye on this issue, the minister said. No cases of unfolding a recruiting point have been recorded - not even a single attempt." He also reminded that Russian criminal code has an entry for hiring mercenaries. However, Ivanov does not shun the possibility that some rogues or swindlers could try to make money on fraud mercenary business. The minister suggests, for instance, that such swindles could make use of anonymous sites in the Internet and place advertisement offering large sums of money for mercenaries. They might even insert links to the American embassy. "We keep continuous connections with all the representatives of American diplomatic mission, and they don't know any recruiting points, either," the minister said.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea