Over the course of the counterterrorism operation in Syria, many Russian servicemen, including women, have sacrificed their own lives to destroy Daesh. Sputnik pays tribute to the Russian heroes and lists their names below.
On December 5, two Russian nurses, First Sergeant Nadezhda Durachenko and Junior Sergeant Galina Mihaylova, were killed when a shelling hit a Russian mobile military hospital they worked in. Another medical worker, professor and specialist in child treatment, Vadim Arsentyev, received severe injuries. The Russian Defense Ministry views the shelling as a murder, committed by the so-called moderate opposition.
On July 22, it became known that Russian soldier Nikita Shevchenko died in the Syrian province of Aleppo. The serviceman was tasked with accompanying a humanitarian convoy carrying food and water to local residents. His car exploded when it came across an improvised explosive device hidden by terrorists near the village. The Russian medics on the ground were fought to keep him alive, but couldn't save him.
On July 8, Russian pilots and military instructors Ryafagat Khabibulin and Evgeny Dolgin were killed in Syria during a fly-off in the Palmyra area. On this day, a large group of Daesh militants attacked the positions of Syrian troops to the east of Palmyra and were on their way to seize strategic positions when Khabibulin and Dolgin were asked to attack the terrorists. As result of their heroic move, the terrorist offensive was stopped, but both heroes died.
In May, a soldier from Russia's region of Kabardino-Balkaria — Asker Bizhoev — was killed during a combat mission in Syria. After his death, he was awarded the Order of Courage.
On May 11, reports said that Russian soldier Anton Erygin was seriously injured in the province of Homs while he was on his mission to escort and support a humanitarian convoy of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Warring Parties. He was immediately taken to hospital, but after two days he died due to serious injuries.
On April 12, an Mi-28N helicopter of the Russian armed forces crashed in Syria in the province of Homs. According to media reports, the two pilots who were killed in the crash were graduates of Syzran Higher Military Aviation School, Andrei Okladnikov and Viktor Pankov.
On March 24, Senior Lieutenant Alexander Prokhorenko was killed as he was carrying out a reconnaissance mission to provide intelligence for the Russian Air Force to attack Daesh targets near Palmyra. The officer ordered his comrades to carry out an air strike on his position after he was discovered and surrounded by Daesh terrorists, a story which led to the international press naming him the "Russian Rambo" for his act of heroism. Alexander, who was 25 years old, was married. Before he left for Syria he found out that his wife was expecting their first child.
On February 1, Russian military adviser Ivan Cheremisin was killed during an attack carried out by Daesh on one of the military garrisons in Syria.
On November 25, 2015, Russian officer and gun-layer Fedor Zhuravlev died while performing his military service in Syria. His task was to coordinate air strikes by the Russian Air Force. The man was buried in a village in the Bryansk region.
During the rescue operation Russian marine Alexander Pozynich was killed when one of Russia's helicopters involved in the operation was hit by small arms fire and made an emergency landing on militant-controlled territory.