A pilot of the Su-25 warplane downed in Syria blew himself up after he had been surrounded by militants, the Russian Defense Ministry said on February 5.
“Upon landing after having ejected in the vicinity of the village […] under the control of terrorists, Major Roman Filippov fought an unequal battle during the final minutes of his life using his standard issue weapons. After being surrounded by the terrorists, seriously wounded, the Russian officer blew himself up with a grenade when the distance to the militants diminished to just a few tens of meters,” the Russian state-run news agency Sputnik quoted a statement of the Russian Defense Ministry.
The ministry said that Maj. Filippov reported he had been attacked by a missile and was trying to control the damaged aircraft until the end.
“Major Roman Filippov outstandingly conducted dozens of combat missions over Syria to destroy militants belonging to international terrorist groups and to escort humanitarian convoys of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides to settlements liberated from terrorists,” the ministry said adding that he would be posthumously awarded the Hero of Russia.
A video circulating online shows the last minutes of the fighting between the pilot and militants. The video also shows an explosion of the hand grenade.