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GORKI, April 3 (Itar-Tass) —— President Dmitry Medvedev has awarded posthumously the Hero of Russia title to Maj. Sergei Solnechnikov for “valor and selflessness displayed in the line of duty,” presidential press secretary Natalia Timakova said.
Hundreds of fellow citizens attended the funeral service for Solnechnikov in Volzhsky, Volgograd region, on Monday. He covered a hand grenade with his body during military exercises and thus saved the lives of his subordinates. The citizens expressed their profound condolences to Solnechnikov’s family.
Solnechnikov graduated from a secondary school in Akhtubinsk, Astrakhan region, in 1997. He dreamt of becoming a pilot and was admitted to the Kachinsk Air Force School together with his friend Dmitry Zelenyak. The school was disbanded, and Solnechnikov was transferred to the Kemerovo Military Communication School. He graduated in 2003 and was assigned to a military unit in the Amur region in 2004. Solnechnikov became a battalion commander at the age of 30.