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Valery Grigorievich Asapov
Asapov in 2013
Native name Валерий Григорьевич Асапов
Nickname Primakov
Born (1966-01-01)1 January 1966
Died 23 September 2017(2017-09-23) (aged 51)[1]
Place of birth Kalinino, Malmyzh Raion, Kirov Oblast, RSFSR, USSR
Place of death Deir ez-Zor, Syria
Buried at Federal Military Memorial Cemetery,
Moscow Oblast
Allegiance  Soviet Union
 Russian Federation
Years of service 1987–2017
Rank CCCP army Rank general-lejtnant infobox.svg Lieutenant general
Commands held 68th Army Corps
5th Red Banner Army
Battles/wars 1991–1992 South Ossetia War
First Chechen War
2001 Kodori crisis
Second Chechen War
War in Donbass
Syrian Civil War (KIA)
Awards Order "For Merit to the Fatherland", IV degree
Relations Vyacheslav Asapov (brother)

Valery Grigorievich Asapov (Russian: Валерий Григорьевич Асапов; 1 January 1966 – 23 September 2017) was Lieutenant General in the Russian Army. According to the Russian Defence Ministry,[2] he was killed on 23 September 2017 by mortar fire from ISIL militants near the city of Deir ez-Zor during the Russian military campaign in the course of the Syrian Civil War. Asapov's position in Syria was described by the Ministry of Defence as the chief of the group of Russian military advisers in Syria.[2][3]

Education and career[edit | edit source]

Valery Asapov was born in Malmyzhsky District, Kirov Oblast, to a working-class family[4] as the eldest of four brothers in the family.[5] He graduated from the Ryazan Higher Airborne Command School and was commissioned lieutenant in 1987.[6][7][8]

He began his military career in the 76th Guards Airborne Division, based in Pskov, having grown to the position of a battalion commander.[6][7][9]

In 1992–1993, Valery Asapov served in South Ossetia.[6][10] In January 1995, he was sent to Chechnya in Southern Russia.[6][7][11][12] He was seriously wounded during the battle of Grozny in the course of the first First Chechen War.[7][13] He was operated on four times in various medical institutions and fully recovered a year after, but remained lame.[6][7]

He entered the Frunze Academy in 1997 and took a degree in 2000, whereafter he was appointed deputy commander of the former 345th Independent Guards Airborne Regiment that was then part of the peace-keeping force stationed in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia. In 2001, he was appointed commander of the 345th Independent Guards Airborne Regiment.[7] In 2003, Colonel Asapov became first deputy Commander of the 98th Guards Airborne Division based in Ivanovo and 18 months later he became chief of staff of the division.[7][13] In 2003—2004, he participated in the Second Chechen War.[7]

In 2007, he was transferred from the Airborne Troops to the Ground Troops and became commander of the 18th Machine Gun Artillery Division based in the Kuril Islands in the Far East.

In 2011, he graduated from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia. In June, Col Valery Asapov was appointed commander of the 37th Guards Independent Motor Rifle Brigade (in Kyakhta) of the 36th Army stationed in Buryatia.[14][15]

On 23 February 2013, Col Valery Asapov, then commander of the Motor Rifle brigade, was awarded the 4th Class of the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" by Russian president Vladimir Putin.[16]

In early 2014, Asapov assumed command of the 68th Army Corps that was reinstated on the basis of the units already stationed in Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands: the 18th Machine Gun Artillery Division, and the 39th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade.[17] In July 2015, he was transferred to the Southern Military District,[18] and, according to Ukrainian Army's Intelligence Department as well as other sources, under the alias of "Primakov" participated in the Russian military intervention in Ukraine as commander of the Donetsk People's Republic's 1st Army Corps.[10][19]

In August 2016, Lt Gen Valery Asapov was appointed commander of the 5th Red Banner Army.[20] Since February 2017, he was seconded to Syria, where he headed a group of Russian military advisers, according to the Russian official sources.[2][3][9][21] He was unofficially said to have been assigned to the command post of the Syrian Army's 5th Corps shortly before his death.[22][23]

On 23 September 2017,[24] he was killed by ISIS in the course of the fighting near Deir ez-Zor by fire from ISIL while assisting the Syrian army.[3]

He was buried with full military honors in the Federal Military Memorial Cemetery near Moscow on 27 September; the funeral was attended by the Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.[21][25] Gerasimov acknowledged Asapov's ″invaluable help to the Syrian army's command in planning and conducting military operations against international terrorists″.[21][26]

Official reactions and investigation[edit | edit source]

Shortly after his death, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said, "The death of the Russian commander is the price, the bloody price, for two-faced American policy in Syria".[27][28][29]

A senior member of the Federation Council said that there was intelligence indicating the killing had been facilitated by treason and the relevant investigation was ongoing.[30]

On 26 September 2017, Russia's media reported that, according to the preliminary investigation being conducted by the government of Syria, the killing of Asapov was made possible as a result of the leaking of information about his precise location to the enemy.[31]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Russian army general, ex-commander of "DPR" militants, killed in Syria - media". UNIAN. 24 September 2017. https://www.unian.info/world/2152161-russian-army-general-ex-commander-of-dpr-militants-killed-in-syria-media.html. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Российский генерал погиб в Сирии в результате обстрела террористами RIA Novosti, 25 September 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Российский генерал погиб в Сирии в результате минометного обстрела ИГ TASS, 24 September 2017.
  4. "Биография генерал-лейтенанта Валерия Асапова" (in Russian). TASS. 25 September 2017. http://tass.ru/info/4589852. 
  5. "Генерал-лейтенант Валерий Асапов погиб в Сирии на передовой" (in Russian). KN. 25 September 2017. https://www.kp.ru/daily/26735.5/3762560/. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Если быть, то быть лучшим!". Vyatskiye Polyany administration. 9 July 2013. http://admvpol.ru/about/info/news/1603/. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Владимир Страшко (30 July 2008). "Курильский «ледокол»". Krasnaya Zvezda. http://old.redstar.ru/2008/07/30_07/2_01.html. 
  8. "Генералы – выпускники Рязанского высшего воздушно-десантного командного училища". Ryazan Higher Airborne Command School. http://www.rvvdku-vi.ru/o-vuze/istoriya/vyipuskniki-generalyi. Retrieved 27 September 2017. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "В. Г. Асапов". Krasnaya Zvezda. 26 September 2017. http://www.redstar.ru/index.php/component/k2/item/34559-v-g-asapov. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "War criminal, Major General of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation ASAPOV Valerii Hryhorovych (undercover name – Prymakov)" (in eng). The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. http://gur.gov.ua/en/content/heneral-maior-zs-rf-asapov-valerii-hryhorovych.html. 
  11. Евгений Крутиков (25 September 2017). "Присутствие генерала Асапова на передовой было необходимо". Vzglyad. https://vz.ru/society/2017/9/25/888478.html. 
  12. Андрей Бондаренко (26 September 2017). "Душа в маргеловской тельняшке". Krasnaya Zvezda. http://www.redstar.ru/index.php/component/k2/item/34558-dusha-v-margelovskoj-telnyashke. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Андрей Горячев (28 December 2005). "Чтобы не «уходили» раненые". Krasnaya Zvezda. http://old.redstar.ru/2005/12/28_12/2_01.html. 
  14. Кадровые изменения в Вооружённых Силах kremlin.ru, 23 June 2011.
  15. Кадровые изменения в Вооружённых Силах Krasnaya Zvezda, 25 June 2011.
  16. Ceremony presenting state decorations in the Kremlin
  17. Mukhin, Vladimir (21 April 2014). "КАРТ-БЛАНШ. Курилам придают военно-стратегический облик" (in Russian). Nezavisimaya Gazeta. http://www.ng.ru/armies/2014-04-21/3_kartblansh.html. 
  18. Semenova, Kseniya (31 July 2015). "В 68 армейском корпусе, дислоцированном в Сахалинской области, сменится командование" (in Russian). Sakhalin.info. https://www.sakhalin.info/news/104873. 
  19. Maria Tsvetkova. 'Fog' of Ukraine's war: Russian's death in Syria sheds light on secret mission Reuters, 29 January 2018.
  20. В Приморье соболезнуют из-за гибели российского генерала в Сирии RIA Novosti, 25 September 2017.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Герасимов: генерал Асапов оказал неоценимую помощь армии Сирии TASS, 27 September 2017.
  22. «Союзники в кавычках»: почему на фронте в Сирии погиб российский генерал RBC, 25 September 2017.
  23. МИД РФ: Российский военачальник погиб в Сирии из-за двуличия политики США REGNUM News Agency, 25 September 2017.
  24. СМИ узнали подробности гибели в Сирии генерала Асапова Vedomosti, 25 September 2017.
  25. «Он всегда шёл только вперёд»: в Подмосковье простились с погибшим в Сирии генералом Асаповым RT, 27 September 2017.
  26. Генерал Асапов оказал неоценимую помощь в борьбе с ИГ*, заявили в Генштабе RIA Novosti, 27 September 2017.
  27. Moscow blames 'two-faced U.S. policy' for Russian general's Syria death: RIA Reuters, 25 September 2017.
  28. Рябков: гибель генерала РФ в Сирии - это цена за двуличие позиции США RIA Novosti, 25 September 2017.
  29. Рябков: гибель российского генерала в Сирии стала следствием двуличия политики США TASS, 25 September 2017.
  30. Клинцевич: за гибелью российского генерала в Сирии стоит предательство RIA Novosti, 26 September 2017.
  31. Источник: расследование гибели Асапова подтвердило утечку данных к ИГ* RIA Novosti, 26 September 2017.

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