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Fighter pilot killed in Syria jet downing posthumously nominated for Hero of Russia title

The pilot blew himself up with a grenade after being surrounded by terrorists

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Russia’s air pilot Roman Filipov, whose Sukhoi-25 plane was shot down in Syria last weekend, has been posthumously nominated for the title of Hero of Russia, the Defense Ministry said.

"Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has posthumously nominated Major Roman Filipov, deputy squadron commander of the Eastern Military District’s attack aviation regiment, who was killed on February 3, 2018 while fighting terrorists in Syria for the title of Hero of Russia," the report says.

The Defense Ministry said that while flying over the de-escalation zone Idlib on a ceasefire monitoring mission Filipov’s Sukhoi-25 plane was shot down by terrorists with a man-portable anti-aircraft missile.

"The pilot did his best to keep the plane in the air as long as he could. He managed to report to his commanders he had been attacked by a missile. Filipov ejected himself and landed near the terrorists-held village of Tell-Debes. Until the last moments of his life he fought with the terrorists with his hand weapon. The pilot blew himself up with a grenade after being heavily injured and surrounded by terrorists when the attackers were several dozen meters away," the Defense Ministry said.

The Defense Ministry promised Filipov’s parents and family all support they need. It described the officer as an experienced air pilot who had been to Syria on several assignments before. He had to his credit dozens of very successful combat missions to destroy terrorists and accompany humanitarian convoys of Russia’s center for the reconciliation of warring parties. Filipov was a graduate of the Higher Military Aviation Academy in Krasnodar. Commanders have invariably described him as a promising, competent and resolute fighter-bomber pilot enjoying well-deserved recognition in the regiment and respect of his subordinates in the squadron.