A series of photos released on social media shows Syrian rebels looting the gold chain and other belongings from the body of dead Russian pilot Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Peshkov, 45, who will be awarded the Star of Hero of the Russian Federation posthumously by President Vladimir Putin.
One image shows a Syrian rebel holding the locket over the body of the pilot, which is seen lying in a pickup truck. Another shows the closeup of the gold locket, which has Virgin Mary and Child Jesus embossed on it.
The images were published on Twitter account of the television channel run by the Free Syrian Army with a caption: "The dead Russian pilot."
Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Peshkov was the commander of Su-24 shot down by Turkey on Tuesday.
Another set of photos released by the rebels shows puncture wounds on the chest and face of the slain Russian pilot, caused by the bullets fired by the Syrain rebels as the pilots parachuted from their crippled plane. [Watch Video].
Lieutenant-Colonel Peshkov and his co-pilot Captain Konstantin Murahtin were forced to eject from their Su-24 after it was shot down by the rebels. The co-pilot, however, was able to make it back to friendly area and was picked up by the Syrian army before he was flown off to a Russian airbase on Wednesday.
Russia to honour pilots
On Wednesday, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced that the crew of the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber would receive state awards, reported Tass.
"The plane commander will be awarded with the Star of the Hero of the Russian Federation posthumously," said Putin. Co-pilot Captain Konstantin Murahtin will get also be honoured, he added.
Russia has said it lost another soldier — Naval Infantry Soldier Alexandr Pozynich — on Tuesday. He was killed during the rescue operation from rebel firing, while his helicopter was searching for the Russian pilots. He is to be awarded the Order of Courage (Pozynich posthumously).