A Russian pilot walks from his Su-30 jet in the background at Hemeimeem airbase, Syria, on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Vladimir Isachenkov)
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In a rare act of insubordination, a small group of Russian soldiers filed a complaint with military prosecutors against plans to deploy them to Syria, a lawyer and a human rights activist who handled their case said.It was concern over the experiences of Russian troops in Ukraine that set alarm bells ringing for the up to around 60 soldiers sent from the unit's base in Siberia to the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk in late August.President Vladimir Putin had not yet declared the start of the military operation in Syria so the Russian troops would not at that time have had the official status of combatants.Reuters investigations and testimony from some of the troops involved show Russia has sent soldiers to Ukraine on undercover operations, but Moscow denies sending serving soldiers there.Krivenko, who is also part of a rights body that advises Putin, said soldiers in the unit demanded they be given a written order to go to Syria.When their commanders refused, the soldiers contacted military prosecutors. The Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, authorized the military operation in Syria on Sept. 30, giving official protection to Russian soldiers deployed there.
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