The death in Syria of a Russian soldier from the North Caucasus region of Kabardino-Balkaria has been reported, the republic’s governor has said.
"Asker Bizhoyev died heroically while carrying out a military assignment in Syria," Governor Yury Kokov wrote on Instagram on August 12.
Kokov said the soldier has been posthumously awarded the Order of Courage by a decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that the award was given to his parents.
Local authorities in Bizhoyev’s home district of Urvansky were quoted as saying he was a contract soldier who reached the rank of major. He died on May 19.
His death brings the Russian toll of officially reported combat deaths in Syria to 19.
Russia has been conducting a bombing campaign in Syria since September 2015 in support of longtime ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.