The Russian airman killed by militants in the Al-Nusra-controlled area in Idlib province Saturday was identified as Major Roman Filippov, photos posted on the Telegram channel of independent investigative group Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) indicate.
Earlier, the Russian Defense ministry confirmed that the pilot died "during combat with terrorists."
One of the pictures, published on the CIT Facebook page, shows what appears to be a commendation authored by special operations air group commander Lt. Colonel Sergey Aksenov, recommending that a state award be bestowed upon Filippov for completing combat missions in Syria. CIT claims the document was found in the slain pilot's pocket.
Another photo shows the gun Filippov apparently used to fight for his life. A Stechkin machine pistol (APS), standard issue for Russian combat pilots, is seen next to three magazines, one of them empty and two half-empty.
Other photos posted by the group seem to be personal notes from Filippov's time at the Russian airbase in Syria.
Citing a Russian Defense Ministry source, the Novaya Gazeta newspaper confirmed the deceased pilot was Filippov. According to the report, he was a former Ukrainian pilot from the city of Simpferopol in what is now Russian Crimea.
The Russian Defense Ministry has yet to officially release the identity of the deceased. Earlier, it confirmed the pilot had successfully ejected from the aircraft before being killed while engaging terrorists on the ground. Moscow said the jet appears to have been shot down by a man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD).
Tahrir al-Sham, an extremist group linked to Al-Nusra terrorists, claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier, videos and statements about the Russian pilot appeared on the Twitter account of the Jaysh al-Nasr, a militant group affiliated to the Free Syrian Army.
A video has emerged allegedly showing the rebels posing with the dead body of the pilot.
Warning! The video contains images some may find upsetting.