Published time: 30 Nov, 2015 10:47 local time - Edited time: 30 Nov, 2015 11:36
The body of the pilot of the Russian Su-24 bomber, shot down by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet last week, has been sent to Moscow from Ankara, the Turkish military said in a statement.
The repatriation of the body was arranged after a military funeral service attended by the Russian ambassador and other military officials, Reuters reports
[...]RT has video of the plane departing the Ankara airport.
A report popped up on BBC around 6:00pm ET that Reuters had already published very early this morning, right after Sputnik broke the news. The Reuters report included a photo of the Russian pilot's remains being loaded with fanfare onto a Turkish jet at Hatay Airport just across the Syrian border. Then the casket was flown to an airport at Ankara.
Reuters photo, taken by an unnamed Reuters stringer
The Beeb photo, credited to AP, was taken around the same time.
And the Beeb has a second photo showing a Turkish honor guard hoofing to the tarmac:
Photo credit "EPA." (I have no idea.)
Checking back right now, I see the timestamp on the Reuters report is 1:56pm ET but that must reflect an update. In any case, I saw the report at Sputnik while it was still breaking news.
So what is the delay in getting the casket to Moscow?
To return to the Sputnik report: "The date and time of the pilot’s body delivery to Russia is being clarified," embassy spokesman Igor Mityakov told RIA Novosti.
11:46 local time - 29.11.2015 (updated 12:23)
[emphasis throughout mine]
The pilot of the Su-24 bomber, Oleg Peshkov, was killed [on November 24] by ground fire while parachuting to safety after the warplane had been downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet over Syria on Tuesday.
"The body of the deceased Russian pilot was delivered to us last night at 1:45 across the border. In accordance with their [Russian] religious tradition, funeral arrangements were carried out by Orthodox priests in the Hatay Province [in Turkey's south]," Davutoglu was quoted as saying by local media Beyaz Gazete.
The Russian Embassy in Turkey has confirmed that the body of the Russian pilot would be brought to Ankara on Sunday and later sent to Russia.
"Today the body of Hero of Russia Oleg Peshkov will be delivered to Ankara. The military attache of the embassy is accompanying it during the flight, and the ambassador and the embassy staff will meet it at the airfield in Ankara. The date and time of the pilot’s body delivery to Russia is being clarified," embassy spokesman Igor Mityakov told RIA Novosti.
Syrian Turkmen rebels claimed earlier that they had fired at the crew of the Russian warplane as they were descending to the ground. [They] also claimed that both were killed, although this allegation was later disproved as one of them survived.
The Su-24 bomber co-pilot survived and was taken to a Russian base in Syria after a successful 12-hour search and rescue operation, which ended on Wednesday.
A source familiar with the operation told RIA Novosti earlier that several Syrian special forces units were providing cover for the Russian search and rescue team.
How long is the flight from Ankara to Moscow? [tap tap tap] 3 hours 5 minutes. What's the weather in Ankara? [tap tap] Oh, right; it's already tomorrow there but nothing strange; overcast and a little rainy, mid-40s F. But the photos show it was sunny weather for the gathering on the tarmac.
I saw a headline the other day, I think at RT, that the family was refusing to believe the pilot was dead. I didn't take time to read the report; such a belief is common when the body isn't found.
So let me see. Four days after the pilot was allegedly killed, the Turkish government gets hold of it, without saying how. But that means they had three or four days to fool around with the body, or a body. Pundita, don't be cold-blooded.
Well all I can say is God help Erdogan if the family insisted on flying to Ankara to view the body before it was shipped home, and one of them started screaming that's not the body.
[muttering to herself] I need one of those wall clocks with 10 different times. Maybe by tomorrow morning Eastern time this will be resolved nicely. Erdogan had reportedly wanted to meet with Putin on the sidelines of the Paris climate summit. Let me check the headlines one more time before posting this....
Obama Places Single White Flower at Bataclan Memorial in Paris
Google News is hopeless.