The remains of a Russian special forces soldier killed in Syria during the battle to recapture Palmyra from Islamic State militants has been returned to Russia.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said on April 29 that the remains of 25-year-old Aleksandr Prokhorenko have been delivered to Moscow and would be buried in a ceremony with military honors.
Russia’s military said Prokhorenko was fighting alongside Syrian government forces near Palmyra for a week, directing Russian air strikes at IS targets, when his position was surrounded by IS fighters around March 19.
According to Russian military officials, Prokhorenko called on Russian fighter jets to bomb his location when he found that his position had been overrun and he was about to be captured.
The air strikes reportedly killed Prokhorenko as well as the militants who were about to capture him.
President Vladimir Putin posthumoulsy awarded Prokhorenko with the title "Hero of Russia" by decree on April 11.
Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, npr.org, and Dozhd-TV