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Russian Army officer dies protecting soldier from hand grenade explosion during drill

A grenade slipped from the conscript soldier’s hands after he had pulled out the safety pin

St PETERSBURG, March 22. /TASS/. A Russian Army officer died on a military base in the Belgorod Region during a routine drill on Tuesday as he tried to protect a soldier from a combat hand grenade that had detonated the press service of the Western Military District told reporters.

"On March 20, an army officer died during a routine drill on a firing range during an exercise involving a grenade thrown from a trench," the press service said.

The grenade slipped out of a conscript’s hands after he had yanked out the safety pin. The officer pushed the bewildered soldier aside and then shielded him with his own body.

"As a result of the explosion, the officer received multiple wounds while the soldier remained unharmed," the press service indicated. "Physicians fought for the officer’s life but didn’t manage to save him."

It added that the base’s commanders had recommended that the officer be awarded a posthumous honor for his display of heroism.