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Russian Soldier Who Called in an Airstrike on Himself in Palmyra Is a Father–to–Be

Died without knowing if he has a daughter or a son

Russian media has uncovered the identity of the Russian special forces officer who died in fighting against ISIS around Palmyra last month  after he called in an air strike to take out ISIS fighters who would have surely captured him otherwise.

His name was Aleksandr Prokhorenko. He was 25 years old from a village in the Urals region of Russia. Along with his younger brother who is also in officer training he looked up to his family members who were soldiers before him:

He began training at the Army Air Defense Corps Military Academy straight after leaving school, and graduated the academy with honors. 

"There are a lot of soldiers in his family, and he always dreamed of serving in the armed forces," a friend of Alexander told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. 

"Nothing he did, regarding even something as complex as life or death, was spontaneous," Alexander Prokhorenko's class teacher Petr Rusinov told

"From the fifth grade he didn’t want to do anything else. Some people had a back-up plan, but he only wanted to be a soldier," Rusinov said.

He was weded 18 months ago and the couple were expecting their first child. His wife Katya does not know if it's a boy or a girl.

His family did not know he was in combat in Syria:

​"Nobody knew exactly where Sasha (Alexander) was serving, they said it was somewhere in the special forces," said Natalya Meshkova, headteacher of Gorodetskoy Middle School, which Alexander attended. 

"He graduated our school with a silver medal, he was first in all competitions and the school won them thanks to him. He was one of those people who was never afraid, regardless of the situation. For everybody, he is a hero." 

"We would like to name our school after him," said Nadezhda Rusinova, a teacher at the school. 

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