President Vladimir Putin awards Russian ‘Rambo’ who died fighting ISIS top military honour

Anthony Bond, Rachel Bishop — The Mirror May 1, 2016

Alexander Prokhorenko

Vladimir Putin has awarded a soldier dubbed “Russian Rambo,” who was killed fighting ISIS, the country’s highest military honour.

The Russian president has ordered brave Aleksandr Prokhorenko be posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation, according to Russian state news agency Sputnik.

The 25-year-old was part of a team of fighters battling to liberate the city of Palmyra from ISIS.

Russian officials say the father bravely ordered an airstrike on himself after he was surrounded by Islamic State militants.

His body was flown into Moscow this week and welcomed by the brave soldier’s heartbroken wife Ekaterina who is pregnant with their first child.

In a further tribute, the soldier’s old school also plans to name the facility after him.

A teacher at Gorodetskoy Middle School said Prokhorenko was a wonderful student, and the school won many competitions because of his participation.

Nadezhda Rusinova said: “It is a real act of bravery that we will tell our pupils about,” said a teacher at the school.

“After all, to order an airstrike on yourself is something that not everybody would be able to do.”

The heroic last words of the solider – who feared he would be captured, tortured, killed and his body mutilated – were revealed after his death.

A transcript of his final communications with Russian Special Forces reveals the moment he was surrounded by ISIS ‘b*******’ and low on ammunition as he attempted to hold off gunfire.

He was ordered to move to safety before the air strike but told his commander he couldn’t escape the area, before adding: “Conduct the airstrike now, please hurry.”

He went on to say: “I am surrounded, they are outside, I don’t want them to take me and parade me, conduct the airstrike, they will make a mockery of me and this uniform.

“I want to die with dignity and take all these bastards with me. please my last wish, conduct the airstrike, they will kill me either way.”

In his last communication he said: “This is the end commander, thank you, tell my family and my country I love them. Tell them I was brave and I fought until I could no longer.

“Please take care of my family, avenge my death, goodbye commander, tell my family I love them.”

His wife Ekaterina reportedly had ‘no idea’ her husband was serving in Syria.

Alexander Prokhorenko with his wife Ekaterina. click to enlarge

Alexander Prokhorenko with his wife Ekaterina. click to enlarge

One source revealed Alexander felt like ‘the happiest man in the world’ when he wed Ekaterina 18 months ago.

The fearless officer was directing Russian airstrikes at Islamic State targets near the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria when he was surrounded by terrorists.

Not prepared to go down without a fight, he ordered military officials to drop bombs on his location and died in the blast.

According to the Russian newspaper Orenday, Alexander spoke lovingly about his partner and his dreams of becoming a soldier in his wedding video.

The newspaper said the video shows Alexander, known to pals as Sasha, talking about how he considers himself to be the happiest man on Earth.

With a trembling voice, he said that all his dreams had come true as he had “the best wife in the world” and was serving the nation he loved.

A spokesperson for the Russian military said: “An officer of Russian special operations forces was killed near Palmyra while carrying out a special task to direct Russian airstrikes at Islamic State group targets.

“The officer was carrying out a combat task in Palmyra area for a week, identifying crucial IS targets and passing exact coordinates for strikes with Russian planes.

“The officer died as a hero, he drew fire onto himself after being located and surrounded by terrorists.”

Moscow has been tight-lipped about having any soldiers on the ground throughout its campaign in Syria that began on September 30.

Last week IS-linked media said that five Russian special forces were killed near Palmyra, publishing pictures from their cellphones and a video showing a bloodied corpse.

However Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov at the time denied that Russian officers were participating in the advance on Palmyra, saying that “the advance is carried out by contingents of the Syrian army”.

Syrian troops on Thursday entered the ancient city of Palmyra, which had been controlled by IS since last May, and clashes were ongoing in the city.

Backed by Russian warplanes and allied militia on the ground, the Syrian army advanced into Palmyra after launching a desert offensive early this month, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The defence ministry in Moscow said Russian aircraft carried out 146 strikes on “terrorist targets” in the Palmyra area between Wednesday and last Sunday.

Source

Russia Defense Report: The Hero of Palmyra

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