On January 31st, Russian Special Forces servic emember Maxim Pletnev died in Syria while carrying out a combat mission, BBC Russia reported.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has not yet confirmed the death.
Two of the man’s relatives confirmed the death to BBC Russia. It was also reported by the media and the administration of the Tikhoretsk district of the Krasnodar Territory, where he was born.
The first outlet to report on the death of the office was Tikhoretsk’s local news outlet.
The news outlet described the incident that lead to Maxim’s death:
“He fired a guided missile (ATGM) at the enemy’s rocket launcher, who responded with a shot at him. Maxim could have survived if he had left his position, especially since he saw a rocket flying at him. But he decided to bring the ATGM to the goal and accomplished this task, destorying the enemy’s expensive equipment. He didn’t have enough time to hide from the return shot.”
Pletnev reportedly died on January 31st, at the age of 24 and was buried on February 4th at the Tikhoretsk cemetery.
In attempt to show an example of the censorship in the Russina media, BBC Russia reported that the paragraph describing the death of Pletnev was redacted out of the story. However that is contrary to the facts. The entire story is still present as of February 8th.
On February 5th, the Tikhoretsk local administration published the obituary of Maxim Pletnev and expressed condolences to his relatives and friends.
“The resident of Tikhorek, Maxim Pletnev, died in the performance of his official assignment and military duty.
Maxim’s childhood passed in the village of Ternovskoy, he studied at the local school number 13, then at the Number 8 High School in the city of Tikhoretsk, at the military school in the city. He first joined the 4th Red Banner Air Army of the city of Taganrog with the initial flight training. Since 2012, he served in the armed forces of the Russian Federation, in the Airborne Forces.
Maxim was very fond of sports, was an active member of the patriotic club, participated in competitions for youths that are to be enlisted as well as sports competitions. He always worked on himself to fulfill his dream of becoming a soldier. On January 31st, 2019 in the 25th year of his life, while carrying out his official duty, he died.
The staff of the municipal administration of the Tikhoretsk District expresses its condolences to the family and relatives of Maxim.”
In September 2018, Interfax reported that since the beginning of Russia’s operation in Syria 3 years ago, 112 servicemen had lost their lives in the line of duty.