Russia’s Officials And Media Commentators React To The Killing Of Soleimani

On January 3, the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, Commander of the special-task Quds Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was killed by the US military, in an airstrike on Baghdad airport.

On that very day, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov held a telephone conversation with his American counterpart, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In their conversation,“Lavrov stressed that targeted actions by a UN member state to eliminate officials of another UN member state, and on the territory of a third sovereign country without its knowledge grossly violate the principles of international law and deserve condemnation.

“The Russian Minister pointed out that this targeted killing is fraught with grave consequences for the regional peace and stability, and will leads to a new round of escalation. Moscow urged Washington to give up ‘illegal military actions to achieve its goals on the international arena and to settle all problems at the negotiating table,” the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported. (, January 3, 2020)

On January 4, Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the latter’s initiative. The ministers stressed that this US action was a grave violation of the fundamental standards of international law and does not contribute to resolving the complicated issues in the Middle East. They also added that this action will trigger a new round of escalation in the region. (, January 4, 2020)

On January 4, Lavrov discussed the killing of Soleimani also with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. (, January 4, 2020)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron expressed their concerns in a phone call over the killing of Soleimani. “The two presidents wished each other a happy New Year. Both sides expressed concern over the death of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, who was killed as a result of a US strike on Baghdad’s airport. It was stated that this attack could escalate tensions in the region,” the Kremlin’s website reported. (, January 3, 2020)

Below is an overview of Russian official and media reactions to the killing of Soleimani:

Iranian citizens residing in Moscow and Russian nationals brought flowers to the Iranian Embassy in Moscow to honor the memory of Soleimani. (Source:, January 4, 2020)

Iranian citizens residing in Moscow and Russian nationals brought flowers to the Iranian Embassy in Moscow to honor the memory of Soleimani. (Source:, January 4, 2020)

The Russian Defense Ministry: Soleimani Was A Competent Military Leader

The Russian Defense Ministry stated: “General Qasem Soleimani was a competent military leader, and commanded well-deserved authority and significant influence on the entire Middle Eastern region. Under his direct leadership, well before the formation of the so called US driven ‘international coalition’, the armed resistance to the international terrorist groups ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq was organized. His personal service in the war against ISIS on the territory of Syria is indisputable.”

(, January 4, 2020)













Russian soldiers in Syria pay condolences at Iranian Embassy in Damascus (Source:, January 5, 2020)

Russian MFA: We Were Concerned To Learn Of The Death Of Soleimani

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “We were concerned to learn of the death of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US military strike on Baghdad airport. This step by Washington is fraught with grave consequences for the regional peace and stability. We firmly believe that such actions do not facilitate efforts to find solutions to the complicated problems that have built up in the Middle East. On the contrary, they lead to a new round of escalating tensions in the region.”

(, January 3, 2020)

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the killing of Soleimani as a “foolhardy move” that would increase tension in the area. It eulogized Soleimani: “Soleimani devotedly served the defense of Iran’s national interests.” The FM representative expressed condolences to the Iranian people.

(, January 3, 2020)

Russian Diplomat Ulyanov: JCPOA Parties Should Exercise Restraint

Russia’s Permanent Representative to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said:

“The assassination of General Soleimani is fraught with very negative consequences for the situation in the region. I would like this not to affect the JCPOA, which is already not in the best condition. For this, both Iran and the West European participants in the transaction should show reasonable restraint.”

(, January 5, 2020)

Russian MFA Spokeswoman Maria Zakrahova: The US Is Interested In Changing The Balance Of Power In The Region

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the Rossiya 24 TV channel:

“It turns out that a missile strike was carried out first, an act that is out of sync with international law was committed. And only then did they [the Americans] requested [the assessment of the events] involving the [US] Embassy. This is probably the height of cynicism, you know.”

Zakarova also stated in her Facebook account: “To condemn attacks on their embassies, states go to the UN Security Council submitting draft statements. Washington did not appeal to the Security Council, which means that it is not interested in the world’s response [and that it is] interested in changing the balance of power in the region.”

(, January 3, 2020)

Senator Alexei Pushkov: The US Finds Itself Closer To War With Iran Than Any Time In The Last 40 Years

Senator Alexei Pushkov tweeted: “Trump announced that by the liquidation of Suleimani, the US attempted not to start but stop war. In fact this is more likely an attempt not to ‘lose’ Iraq as well following [the loss of] Syria. As a result, the US now finds itself closer to war with Iran than any time in the last 40 years. This is the way they evaluate it in Europe and in the US itself.”

(, January 4, 2020)

Russian Senator Kosachev: Washington Is Underestimating Tehran’s Power

Senator Konstantin Kosachev, the Chairman of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, noted that the killing of General Soleimani is the worst case scenario for the development of events in Iraq. The Americans’ actions are very similar to revenge for the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Kosachev assessed that the killing of the general will trigger new clashes between the Americans and radical Shi’ites in Iraq. “You won’t be forced to wait for a response … wars are easy to start but very hard to finish.” (, January 3, 2020)

The Russian senator charged that the assassination was a politically motivated attempt by Trump to spectacularly begin his election campaign and warned that Washington underestimated Tehran’s power.

(, January 4, 2020)

The Chairman of the Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky: The Americans Have Crossed The ‘Red Line’

The Chairman of the Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky voiced condemnation of the American action:

“The lawless murder of Suleimani is a barbaric provocation by the United States. The Americans have crossed the ‘red line’, and this time the consequences can be very serious. Iran has vowed to take revenge and to give a “crushing response”. But, in my opinion, it’s important for Tehran to avoid further steps that could lead to a sharp deterioration of the situation in the region, and act within legal boundaries. And I would not rule out the need to discuss the whole situation in the UN Security Council.”

(, January 4, 2020)

LDPR Party Leader Zhirinovsky: With The Killing Of Soleimani, The US Wants To Draw Russia Into Confrontation With The Muslim World

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the head of the nationalist LDPR party, believes that by the killing of Soleimani the US wants to draw Russia into confrontation with the Muslim world. Zhirinovsky said: “In this way the US wants to draw Russia into confrontation with the Muslim world in the way it was in 1979 after the introduction of Soviet forces into Afghanistan.

(, January 4, 2020)

Chechen Leader Kadirov: The US Actions Are Capable Of Leading To Unforeseen Consequences

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadirov: “The US actions are capable of leading to unforeseen consequences in the Middle East. This should leave no one indifferent.”

(, January 4, 2020)

Russian Political scientist Sergey Filatov: Coffins Will Simply Arrive To America; Iran Will Not Change Its Policy

Russian Political scientist Sergey Filatov commented: “The killing of Soleimani will bring about nothing aside from the outbreak of hostilities to the Middle East, nothing aside from the extermination of Americans in this region. Coffins will simply arrive to America; Iran will not change its policy… In the final result, this can lead to a situation where the Americans will be first to leave Iraq under the pressure of Iraq and Iran. After that they may possibly abandon their points in the Middle East.”

(, January 4, 2020)

Russian Expert Yuri Rogulev: “Of course this fully destroys all prospects for a nuclear agreement with Iran. The US has abandoned it in any case, undermining its foundations. And of course Iran can now simply announce that it no longer considers itself tied to these agreements and will begin to actively work on creation its nuclear weapons.”

(, January 4, 2020)

Russian Expert Ivankovskaya: Soleimani Was A Loyal Ally

Russian expert Olga Ivankovskaya wrote in the site:

“Together with the special forces of Russia and Syria, being the loyal ally he was, Soleimani and his fighters engaged in the war with international terrorism in Syria. Under his leadership, the special forces were able to recapture oil rigs that returned to the control of the Syrian Arab Republic.”

(, January 3, 2020)

Chief Deputy Editor Of The Realist Information Agency Kiril Dzhablach: A Rebalancing Of The Elite May Lead To Unforeseen Consequences For The Islamic Regime

Kiril Dzhablach, the chief deputy editor of the Realist information agency, commented: “It is necessary to remember that for the Iranians, Soleimani was a unifying figure as opposed to many politicians and clerics. The general’s death destroys the balance of forces within the Iranian elite. Given the background of discontent in the country, a rebalancing of the elite may lead to unforeseen consequences for the Islamic regime.”

(, January 3, 2020)

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