Zhuravlyov’s grave following his funeral at a cemetery in the village of Paltso, Russia.
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Russian serviceman Fyodor Zhuravlyov left home in a rush.Others may have happened in Syria, where Russia says it is helping government forces fight Islamist extremists but only acknowledges a limited military presence.At Zhuravlyov's funeral Tuesday in his home village in western Russia, the commander of his unit said he died while taking part in a counterterrorism operation in Russia's mainly Muslim region of the North Caucasus, in which armed forces killed 14 Islamist militants in the Kabardino-Balkaria republic.Zhuravlyov's elder brother Alexander, himself a military serviceman, also said he had been killed in an operation inside Russia.It says it has a force of marines protecting Tartous, the port Russia's navy leases from the Syrian government, troops guarding an air base near Latakia, also on the Mediterranean, and instructors training Syrian forces how to use Russian-supplied weapons systems.Zhuravlyov lived in Solnechnogorsk outside Moscow, the friend said, the same town where a special forces unit is garrisoned which, according to a report two years ago by Russian state broadcaster Russia Today, has special dispensation to conduct secret operations abroad.
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