VOLZHSKY, Volgograd Region, April 2 (Itar-Tass) — Hundreds of people paid their last respects to Major Sergei Solnechnikov in the city of Volzhsky, the Volgograd Region, on Monday.
The officer, a battalion commander, during military exercises in the Amur Region covered a bounced grenade with his body, saving soldiers at the cost of his life.
The ceremony to pay last respects to the hero was held in the House of Culture in Volzhsky. Many of those who came to pay respects and lay flowers at the coffin did not know the officer before, but they were not indifferent to his feat. Volzhsky residents expressed sincere condolences to the officer's parents Zoya Alexandrovna and Alexander Vasilyevich, sister Yelena and fiancee Olga, who arrived by plane from the Far East for the funeral. She served with Sergei in one unit in the Amur Region.
According to the Orthodox religious tradition, a funeral service for the officer was held in the church at the city cemetery.
Then, with full military honours, the coffin with the body of the hero was put into the grave to the national anthem played by a military orchestra. The soldiers of the guard of honour fired three volleys from carbines.
Major Solnechnikov's friends and relatives called him "our sun" (his surname Solnechnikov means one of the sun, "solntse" in Russian). For soldiers, he was "the second father".
On March 28, in exercises, a grenade thrown by a young soldier rebounded from a front parapet to the trench, in which were tens of servicemen. To save the servicemen, the battalion commander covered the grenade with his body. The wounded major was taken to a military hospital, where doctors fought for his life, but could not save him.
The major will be awarded posthumously, as soon as the Defence Ministry's commission establishes all the circumstances of the tragic incident that happened in the exercises in the Amur Region.