A baby-faced 20-year-old, Nikita Avrov was killed in Ukraine while serving as a gunner on a Russian tank.
At his funeral on Tuesday, those giving eulogies leave no room for doubt: the private died for a good cause, for his Russian fatherland.
In front of his family’s house in the small town of Luga, 150 kilometres (93 miles) south of Saint Petersburg, Avrov’s casket is briefly put on display, surrounded by funeral wreaths, while the flag of his motorised infantry division flies alongside.
Around 60 people file past to pay their final respects to a soldier who was born after Russian President Vladimir Putin took power in 2000.
Mourners also hold a ceremony at a war memorial where an Eternal Flame burns beside monuments to Soviet soldiers killed in World War II and Afghanistan.
Five fur-hatted soldiers and their commanding officer carry the coffin to the cemetery to the mournful sound of a brass band and fire…