Russian plane shot down live: Surviving pilot gives his first interview since jet downed - latest updates

One of the pilots was shot by rebels as he floated to the ground attached to a parachute

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The Independent Online

One of the two Russian pilots in a jet shot down by Turkey yesterday was rescued by the Syrian army and is being treated at his air base while the diplomatic fallout from the incident continues. Here are the latest updates:




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Alexandre Orlov told Europe 1 radio that his co-pilot was killed by “jihadists” in the area but that the rescued man managed to flee the area after landing in his parachute and had been picked up by Syrian army, Russia’s allies.

He was taken back to Khmeimim Air Base, the Russian air force’s operations centre in Syria, as the diplomatic fall-out of Tuesday’s incident continued.

The Russian defence ministry continues to insist that the Su-24 did not cross the Syrian border but Turkey says the plane “violated” its airspace and had been warned multiple times before being targeted.

Video: Russian jet downed



A US defence official in Washington said the Russian plane flew across a two-mile section of Turkish airspace before it was shot down, meaning it was in Turkish skies for only a matter of seconds.

A group of anti-Assad Turkmen rebels claimed they had shot at the falling pilots and posted a graphic video online showing one of the men’s dead body.

Jahed Ahmad of the 10th Brigade in the Coast, a group affiliated with the US-backed Free Syrian Army, said his group would consider exchanging the body of the Russian pilot they are holding with prisoners held by the Syrian government. 

“This is the body of a Russian member of the military who was killing Syrian people,” he said. “We have the body and we will see what to do with it.” 

One of two helicopters sent to the crash site to search for survivors was also hit by rebel fire, killing one Russian marine and forcing it to make an emergency landing before it was blown up.

It was a long-feared escalation in tensions between Nato and Russia, with President Vladimir Putin denouncing a “stab in the back” and warning of “serious consequences”.

“As we have repeatedly made clear we stand in solidarity with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of our Nato ally, Turkey,” Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

He urged “calm and de-escalation” and renewed contacts between Moscow and Ankara.

Additional reporting by agenices