New details have been reported about the last stand made by a Russian attack pilot who was forced to eject from his Su-25 aircraft after it was struck by a missile in Syria.
Major Roman Filipov of the Russian Eastern Military District’s attack aviation regiment was killed last Saturday.
Filipov was piloting a Su-25 “Frogfoot” -the Russian equivalent of an A-10 Thunderbolt II- when his aircraft was stricken by a man-portable surface to air missile.
Russian military authorities claim Filipov attempted to keep the attack plane airborne before being forced to eject over the village of Tell-Debes, which is currently under rebel occupation.
Earlier today, it was reported he blew himself up with a grenade after being surrounded by Syrian rebels near his downed aircraft. But new details have emerged about his last stand -suggesting that he fought until the last minute.
Surrounded on the ground, the pilot reportedly defended himself with his firearm before he was mortally wounded, ultimately blowing himself up with a grenade to prevent capture.
“Until the last moments of his life he fought with the terrorists with his hand weapon. The pilot blew himself up with a grenade after being heavily injured and surrounded by terrorists when the attackers were several dozen meters away,” the Defense Ministry said.
The militias showed the Pilot’s pistol conforming that he fought to death. pic.twitter.com/WBKCDtpLj6
— Wael Al Hussaini (@WaelAlHussaini) February 3, 2018
Pictures of Filipov’s Stechkin Machine Pistol -capable of accurately firing 750 rounds per minute up to 200 meters- were released by the Syrian rebels.
“The Russian pilot landed next to his downed jet and called #Khmemeim AB telling them the situation that he was facing,” a Lebanese journalist reports. “He was killed defending himself against them (Syrian rebels), and after killing him they took his device and started swearing at it.”
A recently released video also alleges to show the moment the Russian fighter pilot used a grenade to take his own life from his covered position.
He has since been nominated for the “Hero of the Russian Federation”, the highest honor for anyone in service to Russia.
According to Russian state-run media TASS, the Kremlin has promised the parents and family of Filipov that they will receive all the support they need in this time of loss.
The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that the Major had dozens of combat missions under his belt and was an experienced pilot.
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