Col. Oleg Peshkov’s body has been returned to Russia by Turkey. Oleg and his co-pilot ejected after their Su-24 was shot down by Turkish F-16’s. Oleg was killed by rebels as he was descending by parachute; his co-pilot survived and is back in Russia. One of the Marines attempting to rescue the pilots was also killed, and I wish for him to rest in peace as well. This was definitely a stab in the back by Turkey and will only further increase tensions in the already volatile region. Putin has responded with sanctions against Turkey, has ceased military cooperation with Turkey, and has promised further actions against Turkey. Both countries are at a disagreement as to whether the aircraft was located within Turkish territory when it was shot down. Regardless, shooting down the plane was a despicable act, and Turkey should not be one to complain about violations of their airspace when their aircraft have done the same countless times, most notably in Greece. My opinion is, if two countries are not at war, they should not be shooting down each other’s aircraft over minor, non-aggressive airspace violations.
Anatoly Vyacheslavovich Lebed died in a motorcycle accident while on his way to a motorcycle event near Moscow. Vladimir Putin has offered his condolences to Lebed’s family. Anatoly Lebed was a Guards Lieutenant Colonel in the VDV Spetsnaz, an officer of the 45th Independent Special Purpose Brigade, and a Hero of the Russian Federation. To many, he was a real-life hero and was known as a true Russian patriot. Due to his courageous acts and involvement in numerous wars, he is also sometimes referred to as the “Russian Rambo”.
Anatoly Lebed began his military service in 1981 with the 44th Airborne Division. He got his first combat experience during the Soviet Afghan war between the years 1986 and 1987, serving in a helicopter regiment. Upon returning from Afghanistan, Lebed continued to serve in Germany, and in the Trans-Baikal and Siberian military district. Anatoly retired and entered the reserves in 1994, and also began working with the benevolent fund for Afghan Veterans. In 1999, when Chechen forces invaded Dagestan, Lebed bought his own equipment and flew in to personally assist the local militias. When war was officially announced in Chechnya, he re-enlisted and partook in several counter-terrorism operations in Chechnya. Anatoliy had at least 10 combat tours of Chechnya between the years of 1999 and 2007. Lebed lost his foot after stepping on a mine in Chechnya in 2003, but refused to resign from the military. In 2005, Anatoly’s squad was ambushed. All of his men were injured, but Anatoly refused to give up and defeated the enemy soldiers.
15 days later, Anatoly was injured again by shrapnel after covering his men to shield them from an RPG blast. The wounds didn’t stop him from taking out the grenadier and machine gun post, and then leading his group to successfully destroy the terrorist base. In April of the same year, he received the title of Hero of the Russian Federation, the highest title that a Russian citizen can hold, for heroism and courage while carrying out military tasks in the North Caucasus. In August 2008, Anatoly took part in the war against the Georgian forces that attacked South Ossetia. Despite being injured numerous times, Anatoly Lebed has taken part in all recent wars that Russia has been involved in. He has been awarded a total of 3 Valor orders, 3 Red Star orders, and a Soviet order of service to the Motherland.