Downed Russian Pilot Speaks Out After Rescued in Syria - NBC New York
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Downed Russian Pilot Speaks Out After Rescued in Syria

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    Downed Russian Pilot Speaks Out After Rescued in Syria
    AP
    This frame grab from video by Haberturk TV, shows a Russian warplane on fire before crashing on a hill as seen from Hatay province, Turkey, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. Turkey shot down the Russian warplane Tuesday, claiming it had violated Turkish airspace and ignored repeated warnings. Russia denied that the plane crossed the Syrian border into Turkish skies.

    The Russian pilot rescued in Syria after his jet was shot down by Turkey said Wednesday he was eager to get back to the battlefield, NBC News reported.

    "Our military medics can work wonders," Capt. Konstantin Murtakhtin said on Russian television after a 12-hour rescue mission brought him to safety at Russia's base in Latakia. "I am very eager to be discharged from the hospital to get back to the ranks."

    "I have a little debt to pay back for the commander," Murtakhtin added, referring to his colleague Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov, who Moscow said died in the ordeal.

    Russia has awarded Murtakhtin an Order of Courage medal. Peshkov was posthumously given the Hero of Russia award — one of the highest honorary titles bestowed by the Russian government.

    Meanwhile, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday the foreign ministers of Turkey and Russia have agreed to meet for talks over the downing of the warplane, The Associated Press reported. But Russia's foreign minister said a meeting hadn't been confirmed.