A Kyrgyz man who has lived in Moscow for the last eight years is being honored by the president of his home country after he helped a police officer save a woman from being crushed on the tracks of Moscow's subway.
For the woman, the police officer, and Marat Isaev, a 28-year-old courier from the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh, the difference between life and death was a fraction of a second.
Moscow resident Yulia Val, a computer programmer and a single mother, fell onto the subway rails from a platform at the Krasnoselskaya station on February 11.
As a crowd of passengers screamed for help, Isaev and a police officer, Artyom Korolyuk, rushed to the edge of the platform and quickly assessed the danger.
Isaev lowered Korolyuk onto the tracks and then jumped down himself.
But the two of them were unable to lift the motionless Val back up to the platform.
With a train speeding into the station, Isaev and Korolyuk positioned Val in a safe position between the tracks and then both lay down between the rails themselves, putting their heads to the ground just as the incoming train screeched to a halt above them.
Korolyuk said, "We survived only because we made the decision very quickly, in seconds."
Isaev added: "I don't consider myself to be a hero. It was a miracle. Maybe my deed was heroic. But to me, it was just shock. When I think about it, I still don't believe I made it."
After the video of the incident went viral on social media, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev said on February 15 that he would award Isaev with a personally engraved watch for his bravery and an undisclosed financial reward.
Atambaev said Isaev was faced with an extreme situation and showed "the best features that characterize a responsible citizen and a real man."
Isaev said he initially tried to hide his act of bravery from his relatives back in Kyrgyzstan because he feared the video footage of his close call with death would be too much of a shock for his ailing mother -- a retired school teacher.
But with the fuss being made on social media, his family found out. Isaev said he was told that his award would be presented to him at Kyrgyzstan's embassy in Moscow by the Kyrgyz ambassador.