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CHKALOVSKY (Moscow Region), May 5. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and other defense officials bid farewell at the Chkalovsky airfield outside Moscow on Thursday to Russian commando Alexander Prokhorenko killed in Syria on a combat mission, before sending his body to Orenburg in the south Urals.
"We have lost a reliable combat comrade, a courageous and faithful son of the Fatherland. A true officer, a fearless combatant and a patriot, he performed his military duty with dignity. He sacrificed himself while defending the national interests of Russia and peace on Syrian soil," Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said at the farewell ceremony at the Chkalovsky aerodrome.
The deputy defense minister said Prokhorenko’s death was a heavy and an irreparable loss. "The cherished memory of Hero of Russia, Senior Lieutenant Prokhorenko will always remain in our hearts. And his heroic deed will serve as an example of honest and selfless service to the Home Land," the deputy defense minister said.
After the mourning ceremony, the coffin with Prokhorenko’s body was taken in the escort of a silent drill team aboard a plane and sent to Orenburg.
Senior Lieutenant Alexander Prokhorenko was killed in action while directing Russian air strikes against militants of the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) near the Tadmor community, Homs province. When surrounded by the enemy, Prokhorenko ordered an air strike on himself.
He was posthumously awarded the Hero of Russia title.
The Orenburg authorities have made a decision to name one of the city’s streets in Prokhorenko’s honor.
The commando will be buried in his home village of Gorodki in the Tyulgansky district of the Orenburg Region on May 6.