A video showing two Russian captives has been released by the Islamic State group with the militants claiming the men were captured during battle. In the 42-second video, released on the terror group’s AMAQ news agency, two men appeared briefly in a room wearing grey tunics.
Speaking Russian and wearing matching grey outfits, the two men appear to have been beaten or injured with one showing a cut eye and bruises, in an Amaq video. IS claim they were troops captured during a counter-offensive by the militants in eastern Syria, where the regime backed by Russia has made advances over the past month.
In the video, a man speaking in Russian identifies himself as Roman Zabolotny from Rostovskaya region and says he was captured during an ISIL offensive in the village, along with the man sitting next to him, whom he identifies as Grigory Tsurkanu from Domodedovski region.
Last week’s surprise attack by IS ended a Syrian regime advance in Deir az-Zour, which has seen the jihadis’ siege on parts of the city under its Bashar al-Assad’s control broken.
Moscow denies ISIL captives are Russian soldiers
Russia has said media reports claiming two Russian soldiers were captured by ISIL in Syria “are hardly official information”.
Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Russian presidency, said on Wednesday that the reports should be viewed with caution but confirmed that authorities were checking whether the two captives are Russian citizens.
Peskov’s statement came in response to a video released by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group on Tuesday showing what the armed group claimed were two Russian men captured in al-Shalo village in Deir Az Zor province in eastern Syria.