A view shows the grave of Russian serviceman Fyodor Zhuravlyov after the funeral at a cemetery in the village of Paltso, Bryansk region, Russia, in this November 24, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Maria Tsvetkova
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The 27-year-old Russian special forces officer smiles out of the picture in a flak jacket and camouflage hat.It wouldn't help anyway to know how Fyodor had died, Vladimir said.The Zhuravlyovs learned of his death soon after Fyodor was killed in November, the news coming from his brother who also serves in a special forces unit.Fyodor Zhuravlyov's award certificate, signed by Putin, is stamped number 18 .Zhuravlyov graduated from an elite school for Russian paratroop officers and served with a special operations unit. Andrei Soldatov, an expert on Russian special services, said the awarding of Zhuravlyov's medal could shed light on Russian military tactics, possibly suggesting Russian forces played a role in guiding Syrian ground operations.Such a young officer was unlikely to be a commander of a large Russian special operations unit, but could have earned the award by serving in the headquarters of a Syrian unit, possibly in charge of cooperation with Russian air forces, Soldatov said.
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