Russia says army colonel dies after Aleppo rebel shelling


Russia said Wednesday that an army colonel working as a military advisor in Syria has died several days after being wounded by rebel shelling in Aleppo.

"Ruslan Galitsky passed away in hospital as a result of his serious injuries.

Russian army medics fought for several days to save his life," the defence ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

It said he was wounded in the shelling of a residential area in western Aleppo by the "so-called opposition".

Galitsky - who reportedly commanded a tank brigade based in Siberia - is one of the highest ranking Russian servicemen among the roughly 20 Moscow says have been killed in Syria.

The statement did not specify where or when exactly Galitsky died but said he had already been awarded a posthumous military award.

Moscow is flying a bombing campaign to back up the forces of longtime ally Bashar al-Assad and says it has military advisors on the ground supporting regime troops.

Government forces have reclaimed large portions of the rebel stronghold in eastern Aleppo in a sweeping advance that has drawn condemnation from the West.

Moscow said two female Russian medics were killed Monday by rebel shelling of an army field hospital in Aleppo.

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