Attack Pilot Major Roman Filipov (RuAF) has been posthumously awarded the "Hero of the Russian Federation" decoration. Filipov was shot down near Saraqib while flying a ground attack mission against jihadi fighters massing to counter-attack SAA spearheads west of Abu Duhur town. Filipov ejected from his aircraft and then fought it out with the jihadis on the ground until they gotthe better of him. IMO opinion he richly deserved the aw ard.
The Russian expeditionary force needs to improve its Search and Rescue service so that more Russian air crew are not left to die alone in enemy hands. US practice is such that a rescue package would have been standing by in the air with gunships and extraction birds waiting, waiting.
Saraqib is not in Turkish Armed Forces hands, but they clearly have men on the ground in the area and in liaison with the jihadis. In that context, the GRU (Russian military intelligence) or lower level Russian MI were able to obtain the cooperation of the Turks in recovering Major Filipov's body. People who exist outside the world of soldiering and its military intelligence function do not generally understand the level of collegiality that exists in that world. That collegiality often extends across political boundaries and the momentary whims of politicians. was Erdogan consulted? Certainly, but the retrieval of Filipov's body speaks of more than that. pl