A Russian attack pilot who reportedly blew himself up with a grenade after being shot down over Syria has been posthumously nominated for the title of Hero of the Russian Federation, the highest honor for anyone in service of the Motherland.
Major Roman Filipov of the Russian Eastern Military District’s attack aviation regiment was killed last Saturday after being shot down during air operations over Syria.
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.
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.
In one video featured on YouTube by “IDLIB Plus,” the individual believed to be pilot can be heard saying something to the effect of “This if for our guys!” before blowing himself up.
Given that the video was posted to YouTube on Sunday, the pilot who committed to the explosive last stand is believed to be none other than Major Filipov.
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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