Russia’s Investigative Committee has identified nine militants involved in the killing of Russian Su-24M jet pilot Oleg Peshkov and marine Alexander Pozynich as well as in the attempted killing of Su-24M navigator Konstantin Murakhtin in Syria in 2015, according to the Russian state-media.
“During an examination of the accidents scenes in the Syrian province of Latakia, the crash sites of the Russian fighter jet and the rescue team’s helicopter were established, as well as the areas from where illegal armed unit members attacked the pilots after they had ejected, and a house in one of the settlements in the Latakia province, where the perpetrators took Oleg Peshkov’s body,” Committee Spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko told TASS, adding that “other important evidence was also collected.”
“The collected evidence makes it possible to bring charges against nine Syrian nationals.“
She added that the aforementioned persons were charged with participation in the activities of an illegal armed group, accessory to murder and attempted murder, desecration of a human body, as well as with weapons, ammunition and personal property theft. Petrenko said that the militants have been arrested in absentia, while the Investigative Committee has also issued international arrest warrants for them.
“The investigation continues, steps are being taken to establish other people involved in the murders of the Russian military servicemen,” she said noting that the investigation in Syria is ongoing.
The Russian Aerospace Forces’ Su-24M warplane was downed by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet in the Syrian province of Lattakia on November 24, 2015. Su-24M pilot Peshkov was killed by Turkish-backed militants after he had ejected from the warplane. The navigator survived and was rescued by a Russian-Syrian rapid response team. Marine Pozynich died during this operation.
The Turkish side claimed that the Su-24M had violated Turkish airspace. The Russian side denounced these claims. The incident caused notable tensions between Russia and Turkey and Moscow imposed sanctions and employed a wide range of measures to punish Ankara for its hostile approach. As a result of this as well as other developments in the conflict, Turkey was forced to shift its attitude in Syria in favour of Iran and Russia.