Pilot of downed Su-25 in Syria set off grenade when surrounded by terrorists – Russian MoD

Pilot of downed Su-25 in Syria set off grenade when surrounded by terrorists – Russian MoD
The pilot of a Russian Su-25 jet shot down by terrorists in Syria was fighting the militants to the last, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed. It added that he set off a grenade once he was surrounded.

The jet, piloted by Major Roman Filipov, was flying over the Idlib de-escalation zone on Saturday when it was downed by one of the terrorists’ portable air-defense systems (MANPADs).

Filipov was struggling to the last to navigate the warplane and reported that he had been hit by a missile before he crash landed, the ministry said on Monday.

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The officer fought with the militants till the last minute, waging a losing battle in the terrorist-controlled area, according to the statement. After the militants surrounded the heavily-wounded Filipov, he waited till they approached and detonated a grenade.

Filipov was an experienced pilot who had successfully fulfilled dozens of military tasks in Syria, including eliminating terrorist groups and escorting humanitarian convoys to liberated areas.

Russian authorities have sent their condolences to the pilot’s family. Filipov was posthumously awarded the Hero of Russia medal, the highest honorary title of the Russian Federation.

“The pilot died heroically. The pilot’s family and friends have our condolences, and we are proud of our heroes,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.