"It was a matter of honor for the Defense Ministry to return the body of First Lieutenant Alexander Prokhorenko, Hero of the Russian Federation, from the hands of terrorists," the Ministry said in a statement adding that the officer died while carrying out a military task in Syria.
"The fallen officer's body was brought to Moscow after special actions involving the representatives of the Syrian government and Kurdish self-defense forces", the statement read.
Alexander Prokhorenko was killed during the military operation to liberate the ancient city of Palmyra from Daesh terrorists as he was providing intelligence and coordinating Russian planes to attack targets in the city. During the operation, Prokhorenko's position was discovered and he was surrounded by terrorists. To avoid being captured, possibly tortured and interrogated, the 25-year-old man called an airstrike on his own position.
The defense ministry's medical department completed the identification of the body.
Russia has been conducting a military campaign against terrorists in Syria since September 30 at President Bashar Assad's request. On March 14, Putin ordered to withdraw most of Russia's military contingent from Syria after accomplishing its objective.