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Russian Air Force pilot killed in Syria placed to final rest in southern Russian city

More than 30,000 people came to the final farewell ceremony

VORONEZH, February 8. /TASS/. Major Roman Filipov, the pilot of the Russian Air Force who died on February 3 after his jet had been downed from a shoulder-carried missile launcher in in the Idlib de-escalation zone, has been placed to final rest in the city of Voronezh, some 600 km to the south of Moscow.

More than 30,000 people came to the final farewell ceremony at the Officers’ Club in the Northern garrison town and 2,000 people proceeded to the Kominternovsky cemetery to attend his entombment.

Maj. Filipov’s relatives, military people, schoolmates, clergymen, and members of Yunarmia young people’s association were among the attending members of the public.

Acting Governor of the Voronezh region, addressed the solemn ceremony saying among other things that the city’s general school No. 85 where Roman Filipov had studied would be named after the pilot.

General Sergei Surovikin, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Force said the late Maj. Filipov had fought selflessly with international terrorism, defended peaceful civilians, and protected his homeland, his nation and his family from terrorists.

"Your feat will remain forever in the history of Russian Air Force, Roman," he said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Maxim Poltorak, Maj. Filipov’s fellow-officer called him a real air ace and a model for the comrades-in-arms to follow. "We were always happy to see his successes and we’ll keep the memory of our friend deep in our hearts."

Metropolitan Sergius of Voronezh and Liski said Roman’s exploit gave a clear answer to the questions about the purpose and meaning of life and loyalty to one’s homeland.

"He was fully committed to his duty in the faraway Syria and he sacrificed his life for the sake of his fatherland," His Beatitude Sergius said. He conveyed condolences from Patriarch Kirill I to Maj. Filipov’s family.

Lyudmila Lazareva, Roman’s form monitor at school, said had been responsive and honest as a schoolboy. "He was brought up with an ability to take the right decisions at the right moments," she said.

Roman Filipov was placed to rest on the Alley of Heroes of the Kominternovsky cemetery.

On February 3, Maj. Filipov’s Sukhoi-25 fighter jet was downed from a shoulder-carried antiaircraft missile launcher over the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria. He managed to catapult but on the ground he found himself entangled in an unequal battle with terrorists, who encircled him.

Unable to break out of the encirclement, Maj. Filipov blew himself up with a hand grenade.