On Sunday, February 4, the Russian Embassy in the United States issued a statement thanking US citizens for sending condolences on the death of a Russian fighter pilot who was shot down in Syria and fought to his last breath before finally detonating a grenade on himself after being surrounded by jihadi militants.
“This tragedy has once again proven that there are people in the U.S., who realize the necessity of fighting common evil together. There is no doubt that our victory is imminent. Together we could achieve it faster and with less casualties,” a portion of the statement reads.
The Russian Su-25 jet piloted by Major Filipov was downed Saturday in Syria’s Idlib province during a routine flight over the deescalation zone. Dramatic footage showed the plane descending with one of its engines on fire. Filipov ejected safely but landed in a terrorist-controlled area, where he engaged in a shootout with the terrorists before blowing himself up to avoid capture.
Prior to detonating the explosive, Filipov can be heard shouting “this is for our guys!”
Such stories of heroism are not uncommon among Russian combatants in Syria. Just two years prior, in March of 2016 Alexander Prokhorenko (who is commonly referred to as the “Russian Rambo”) was battling to free the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. After finding himself surrounded by Islamic militants he preferred to die with dignity and called in an airstrike on his own position.