Russian Soldier Joins Ranks of 'Unexplained Dead' Russia won't give official confirmation of where many of its soldiers died By Michael Harthorne, Newser Staff Posted Nov 27, 2015 4:40 PM CST 10 comments Comments Russian soldier Fyodor Zhuravlyov was buried Tuesday with no official explanation of where or how he died. (YouTube) (Newser) – A 27-year-old Russian soldier joined the ranks of what Reuters calls the "unexplained dead"—servicemen killed in secret military engagements both inside Russia and beyond its borders. "I'm away on a work trip." Those were the last words—written in a terse note—Fyodor Zhuravlyov said to his wife. She was contacted last week by the Russian military and informed her husband was killed in combat Nov. 19. As with the rest of Russia's unexplained dead, Zhuravlyov's wife wasn't given any official confirmation about where or how her husband died. Zhuravlyov's funeral was held Tuesday, Reuters reports. It was a closed-casket affair, contrary to Russian tradition. During the service, Zhuravlyov's commander said the soldier died fighting Islamist militants in the North Caucuses. But official records show that engagement took place three days after Zhuravlyov was said to have died and contain no indication of any Russian casualties. Some who knew Zhuravlyov say he actually died in Syria. But it could have been anywhere. "Forgive us that we didn't save him," his commander said during the funeral.