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Russia Condemns Site For Revealing Salary Of Pilot Killed In Syria

Red carnations are placed beside a photo of Russian pilot Roman Filipov, who was shot down in Syria, in front of the Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow on February 6.

The Russian Defense Ministry has criticized an independent news website for publishing the average salaries of members of the military after a Russian pilot's plane was shot down over Syria.

St. Petersburg's news website Fontanka revealed late February 5 that with basic information anyone can access the personal files of officers on the ministry's online database.

"A pilot with the title of major receives on average a little over 100,00 rubles ($1,750) after taxes," the media outlet said.

Fontanka suggested that Major Roman Filipov -- who was killed on February 3 after his jet fighter was downed in northwest Syria -- received as much.

The Defense Ministry on February 6 lashed out against the Fontanka report as lacking "an elementary understanding of decency and journalistic ethics."

Russia hailed Filipov as a national hero after he reportedly parachuted out of his Su-25 warplane into a Syrian rebel stronghold and killed himself with a hand grenade before he could be captured by Islamists.

Fontanka said the database showed that Russian pilots can also receive bonuses of 140,000 rubles ($2,450).

The website said that while the ministry "probably meant well," its database posed a potential danger for Russian soldiers.

Based on reporting by and AFP