“I’ve traveled thousands of kilometers to pay my last respects to this hero. Alexander died while defending the Syrian people and helpless children. His death can help stop the war. Possibly, I’ll make a film about him,” George Massouh told reporters after the body of Alexander Prokhorenko was laid to rest in his native region of Orenburg on Friday.
The state funeral was attended by Prokhorenko’s fellow officers, with whom he served and studied with at military school, as well as friends and loved ones, during an official day of mourning declared by the regional governor.
He was on the ground conducting reconnaissance and target acquisition for Russian warplanes, which were providing support for Syrian government forces, when his position was compromised and he found himself surrounded by terrorist fighters.
Rather than be captured, he called in an air strike on his own position that killed him and several of the enemy.
His body was recovered by the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and returned to Russia for a military ceremony and proper burial.
President Vladimir Putin awarded Alexander Prokhorenko the country’s highest military decoration, Hero of the Russian Federation, last month and a family in France sent his mother their Second World War medals in appreciation of her son’s heroic conduct.