The second Russian pilot who ejected from a jet shot down by Turkey has been picked up by the Syrian army, Russia's ambassador to France says.
"One on board was wounded when he parachuted down and killed in a savage way on the ground by the jihadists in the area and the other managed to escape and, according to the latest information, has been picked up by the Syrian army and should be going back to the Russian airforce base," ambassador Alexandre Orlov told Europe 1 radio.
Earlier Russia's defence ministry said the first pilot was killed by opposition forces who shot at him as he landed after ejecting from the plane.
Several videos circulating online and shared on opposition social media sites purported to show the dead pilot surrounded by rebels from different factions.
Fadi Ahmed, a spokesman for the First Coastal Front rebel group, said "the Russian pilot was killed by gunfire as he fell with his parachute" in the Jabal Turkman area of Latakia province on the coast.
"The 10th Brigade [rebel group] transferred the body of the dead Russian to the local rebel joint operations room," added Omar Jablawi, a media activist working with rebels in the area.
He declined to specify exactly where the joint operations room was located.
Later Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed the second pilot was "saved" and "he and the other participants… including in the rescue operation will be awarded state honours."
Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the operation lasted 12 hours through the night, and the pilot was rescued by Russian and Syrian forces.
Shoigu also said Russia is sending its most hi-tech air defence system to its air base in Syria to help bolster its firepower over the war-torn country after the downing of its jet.
"The S-400 anti-aircraft missile system will be deployed to the Hmeimim airbase," Shoigu was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
Putin on Wednesday (local time) backed a recommendation from the foreign ministry for Russians not to visit Turkey.
"After such tragic events like the destruction of our plane and the death of our pilot, this is a necessary measure," he said in televised comments.