The bust of a pilot who died in Syria, Hero of Russia Roman Filipov, was opened in Voronezh on Friday, June 15. The monument was mounted in the courtyard of School №85 (2, Zhukov Street) where the pilot had studied.

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The ceremony involved about 400 people: representatives of the Federation Council, of the Ministry of Defense and of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, cadets of the Air Force Academy and of the Suvorov Military College, Young Army cadets, school students and Filipov’s family – his parents, his widow and daughter.

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The memorial bust was opened to the Russian anthem and gunfire. Roman Filipov’s mother and widow could not hold back their tears. Other women in the crowd who didn’t even know the deceased pilot in person cried too.

– I just feel so sorry for the young man, he was so handsome. He should’ve lived a long life. I wish his mother strength, I really feel for her, - local resident Ksenia Rubchik said wiping off the tears in her eyes.

Merited military pilot of the Russian Federation Victor Bondarev in his speech pointed out the heroic qualities of Roman Filipov and the importance of placing his bust namely on the territory of the school:

– Russian servicemen continue to adapt battle traditions of the great heroic deeds of fathers and children with honor. Heroism is a quality that cannot be cultivated by itself, it comes from the inside, from the man’s spirit. You can be a properly trained, battle-ready soldier or officer armed with the best weapons, but it is not enough to become a hero. A commander, an instructor can train true professional warriors, but a hero can by raise only by his close ones: his parents, his family, his school. “This is for our guys!” – this is the last thing Roman said before his heroic death. Today this phrase is known by all servicemen. Roman is a hero not only by his title, by also by overall acknowledgment of Voronezh residents and all Russian citizens. The territory of the Syrian Arab Republic is almost completely freed from terrorists – and this is partly Roman Filipov’s merit. Next generations of Russian citizens must be raised by the example of his courage, determination and selflessness. And the important thing in this connection is that the bust is installed on the territory of his native school. Its students will be proud and remember that Roman Filipov is a graduate of their school, and that this school is named after him.

Head of the Department of Interaction with Administrative and Military Bodies of the Regional Government Boris Zinchenko also pointed out the importance of the school which not only gives knowledge to children but also forms their personal qualities.

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– I would like to thank everyone who participated in the creation of this monument, starting from the idea and ending with its implementation. The today’s event has two sides. On the one hand, we pay tribute to the person who committed a feat and died defending our country at distant approaches in peacetime. On the other hand, we understand that school is not only a place where children are given knowledge, but also where they are brought up as patriots. Therefore, this monument will constantly remind schoolchildren of what they should mould themselves as a person while learning at school, Boris Zinchenko stressed.

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Junior students came to the ceremony wearing T-shirts with Roman Filipov’s portrait. The t-shirts were too long for many of them (mid-leg), and the guys looked a bit funny. But as soon as someone began to talk about the pilot’s feat, the guys became serious. All the children here know Filipov’s last words by heart “This is for our guys!” – they have almost become the school’s motto.

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- At this school, Roman Filipov studied physics, mathematics, visited the lessons of courage and prepared himself to become a flight school cadet. His dream came true and he became a hereditary pilot. He was preparing to enter the academy this year. However, it so happened that he had to carry out his military duty. Roman, of course, as befits a Russian officer, took over the responsibility to protect his native country far from his loved ones. At the last minute of his life he decided to do or die and take with him as many villains as possible, blowing himself up with a grenade. He is a hero whose example we should follow. Russia is the only country and it will always stay the only country where such officers like Roman Filipov, Alexander Prokhorenko, Ryafagat Khabibullin, Oleg Peshkov and other heroes live, Gennady Zibrov, the Air Force Academy head said at the ceremony.

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The pilot’s father thanked the authors of the monument for the accuracy. According to Nikolai Filipov, the sculptors managed to convey not only the portrait resemblance, but also his son’s character and glance.

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- My son’s bust will constantly remind the pupils of this school that the sky above your head at times needs to be protected at the expense of your life.” I think that the pupils will be proud of the fact that they are studying at the school, which bears the name of the hero of Russia, Roman Filipov. He entered his name in the history of our state with his act and he will be an example for the younger generation of the Armed Forces. He showed the spirit of the pilot who is guarding our sky and continues to fight the evil at the far reaches of our country. I am proud of my son that he was a pilot of the Russian Military Space Forces, Nikolai Filipov said.

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RIA “Voronezh” note for information

Roman Filipov died in a fight with terrorists in Syria on Saturday, February 3. The Su-25 jet was downed, but the pilot parachuted. He landed in an area controlled by terrorists where he fought to his last breath. When Roman Filipov was surrounded, he blew himself up with a grenade. Roman Filipov was posthumously awarded the title of the Hero of Russia. About 3.5 thousand people came to say farewell to him.

Aircrafts Su-25MS and Sukhoi Superjet 100 of “Yamal” Airline, as well as a street in Borisoglebsk were named after the hero. A stargazer dedicated a star in Dove Constellation to the deceased pilot.