Russian support staff prepare meals for Russian servicemen in Syria.
A new pair of boots, clean kitchens and mess halls, a washing machine–the mundane provisions and amenities of Russian servicemen in Latakia have left Syrians longing for similar care in the struggling Syrian Arab Army, wrote dozens of online commentators mocking Damascus Now’s Saturday photo series covering the growing logistical support structure sustaining Russia’s military presence in Syria.
“Oh I remember my days in the service–if I told you what was going on in our kitchens, you’d be so grossed out you wouldn’t eat for days,” wrote one online commentator, comparing Syrian army kitchens to the Russians’ outdoor cookeries.
“The Syrian army’s been eating potatoes for five years, and your average guy’s got one uniform, which by the way he hasn’t washed in five years,” joked another.
From your average grunt’s grumblings of a tough life on the front, comments took a turn for the bitter, reflecting anger at neglect long suffered by the men and women of the Syrian Arab Army.
“You’ve been giving us a headache with all this talk about Russia–have you forgotten about how many martyrs we’ve given?” asked one angry writer. Another went a step further: “That’s how an army that wants to win treats its men, not like ours, corrupt to the bone and starving to death.”
Many commentators countered, painting a rosier picture of life in the regime’s trenches. Yet photos of buzzing camp life, and a seemingly well-staffed and supplied logistical support network serving Russians in Syria seem to have touched a raw nerve; in late May, a widely circulated photograph of a regime soldier’s daily ration drew online ire and pity alike:
“The joke continues…for the heroic, brave, victorious, fearless, selfless soldier, breaker of world records, from number days in service, to guard shifts, battles, missions and injuries. Here’s the food we get for a whole day: three pieces of bread, a potato and an egg,” read May’s post.
– Photo courtesy of Damascus Now.