Little Green Men in Syria
The sources described the Russian fighters as contractors or mercenaries, hired by a private company, rather than regular troops. But despite their unofficial status, according to these accounts, they operate in coordination with the Russian military and are given privileges back home normally available only to serving soldiers.
They fly to Syria on board Russian military aircraft which land at Russian bases. When they are injured, they are treated in hospitals reserved for the Russian military and get state medals, people interviewed by Reuters said.