Opposition Forum in Lithuania Proposes Use of MANPADS to Shoot Down “Putin’s Aces” in Syria

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

11th March, 2016


At the conference “Forum of free Russia” in Vilnius, proposals were made to give the Syrian opposition man-portable air-defence systems to counter the Russian airspace forces. This was reported by one of the participants of the event – Alfred Koch – on his Facebook.

According to the former Russian Deputy Prime Minister, the atmosphere of the event reminded him of the Assembly of the white émigrés after the Bolshevik’s victory.

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“There was a terrible feeling like the white émigré gatherings in the mid 1920’s: Europe must destroy the Bolsheviks, otherwise they would destroy Russia. And at the same time: the Red’s bread remained for two months, they will not last until the autumn,” writes Koch.

Despite this, Koch believes that in general the forum is “cheerful and fun”, calling the idea to shoot down Russian planes in Syria “constructive”.

“The idea was voiced to give portable missile systems to the Syrian opposition so that they can shoot down Putin’s aces. Similar to the creativity of Americans in Afghanistan in the mid 80’s,” notes Koch.

The “Forum of free Russia”, which was attended by prominent figures of the Russian non-systemic opposition, was held in Vilnius from 9th to 11th March. Its participants plan to discuss the “withdrawal of Russia from a political, economic, and cultural impasse”. The event’s website stated that for security reasons the forum can only be accessed via referrals from other participants.

Ruposters reported that Garry Kasparov and Bozhena Rynska, participants of the forum, a day earlier attacked VGTRK journalists who tried to interview participants of the event. Later, members of the Russian media were deported  by the Lithuanian authorities.

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