According to the journalist, the Russian Defense Ministry’s report spread by Novaya Gazeta that pilot-terrorist Roman Filippov deserted from the Ukrainian Air Forces is untrue. Major Filippov was a member of the Russian Aerospace Forces who had been transferred to occupied Crimea from the Russian Federation. He joined the 37th mixed aviation regiment (commander - Colonel Oleg Terebunsky) based in the occupied Crimea, the journalist said.
Earlier, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported downing of a Russian Su-25 warplane in Syria’s Idlib province on Feb. 3. The Russian Defense Ministry later confirmed the information and also reported that the pilot was killed on the ground after he ejected.
The Russian Su-25 was shot down in the vicinity of the town of Saraqeb which, according to Butusov, is not controlled by the ISIS terrorists, as the Russian media claimed, but by the Turkey-backed rebels. "The Russian planes have nevertheless been mercilessly bombing the town of Saraqeb and nearby villages for more than a week while the rebels had no means to retaliate the terrorist attacks committed by the Russian Air Forces," the journalist said.
"Roman Filippov was one of the top pilots of the Russian assault aviation. He repeatedly took part in Aviadarts air contest. ... However, he decided to become a terrorist and went off to the Syrian war. Filippov was aware that no one would spare him for bombing the cities and was eliminated upon the landing,” Butusov said.
The journalist stressed that Russia’s most advanced Su-25SM attack aircraft worth about $50 million was shot down with a man-portable anti-aircraft missile system. "The Russian aircraft are not protected against MANPADS. They can be defeated. No U.S. Stinger MANPADS are used in Syria, only Soviet-made man-portable anti-aircraft weapons which we have plenty. It would be tempting to provide Syrian rebels with the anti-aircraft weapons. The Russian terrorists must be destroyed wherever possible," he wrote.