Russian pilot’s coffin flies to Russia

Russian pilot’s coffin flies to Russia

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
Russian pilot’s coffin flies to Russia

People put flowers to photos of Lt.Col. Oleg Peshkov, left, and sailor Alexander Pozynich which are placed at a monument to Soviet Officers with candles and a toy jet made of paper outside Russian Army General Staff headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015. AP Photo

Russian authorities received the coffin of the Russian pilot shot down by Turkish F-16s from GATA military hospital in Ankara on Nov. 30 and traveled to the capital’s Esenboğa airport to prepare it for transport to Russia, sources have told Hürriyet Daily News.

The body of Russian pilot Oleg Peshkov, who died after his plane was downed by Turkish F-16s on Nov. 24 after it reportedly breached Turkish airspace for 17 seconds, was flown to Ankara from southern Hatay province on Nov. 29 after a religious ritual carried out by Orthodox priests. The coffin stayed at GATA hospital for one night while waiting for a Russian plane arrive and take the body from Ankara. 

Turkey initiated the process to hand over the body to Moscow a day before a United Nations climate conference is set to begin in Paris which could bring a “saddened” Turkish president and his Russian counterpart together. 

Peshkov was reportedly killed by Turkmen forces as he descended to the ground in a parachute.

The other pilot in the downed Russian warplane, Konstantin Murakhtin, was rescued by Syrian special forces units and brought to a Russian base in Syria after the incident.