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Putin starts state of the nation address with moment of silence

December 03, 2015, 12:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On November 24, the Turkish Air Force’s fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber
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© Alexander Ryumin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has started his state of the nation address to the Federal Assembly with a moment of silence in memory of Russian servicemen who died in Syria.

"Combat pilots, representatives of the Armed Forces, participants in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria are present here today, in the St. George Hall, the historic hall of Russian military glory. Irina Yuryevna Peshkova and Irina Vladimirovna Pozynych found the strength to join us. A low bow to you and to the parents of our heroes," Putin said.

"I ask to honor the memory of our soldiers who gave their lives in the line of duty," the Russian president said.

Everyone present in the Kremlin’s St. George Hall where the annual state of the nation address is taking place honored the memory of those who died.

On November 24, the Turkish Air Force’s fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber. Ankara claims the Su-24M bomber violated the Turkish air space in the area of the border with Syria.

However, Russia’s Defense Ministry has said the Su-24M plane stayed exclusively over the Syrian territory and "there was no violation of the Turkish air space."

The crew of the Su-24M bomber managed to eject but one of the pilots, Oleg Peshkov, was killed by gunfire from the ground. The second pilot, Konstantin Murakhtin, was rescued and taken to the Russian air base.

During the operation to evacuate Su-24M pilots a Mi-8 helicopter was lost. Marine Alexander Pozynich was killed in the operation.

Putin described the downing of the Russian jet that took part in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey as a "stab in the back."

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