by Dmitry Steshin, Nicholas Varsegov, Vladimir Sungorkin — via Voltairenet.com Dec 25, 2014
Bomber returned without missiles
Where were you on July 17, 2014, onwards, the day when the Malaysian Boeing was shot down?
I was on the territory of Ukraine, in the city of Dnepropetrovsk, Aviatorskoe settlement. That is a usual airport. At that time, there were fighter jets and helicopters. Air jets performed regular flights, bombed; the Su-25 hedgehoppers bombed Donetsk, Lugansk. This went on for a long time.
Did air jets flew every day?
Why did you assume that those aircraft could be related to the loss of Boeing?
For several reasons. Eight aircraft were stationed there, and only two of them had “air-to-air” missiles. They were hanged.
Why? Were there any air battles in the air?
No, the missiles were hanged onto the aircraft to cover themselves in the air. Just in case. Mainly ammo on sling for operation towards earth. Non-guided missiles, bombs.
Tell us about July 17.
The air jets flew on a regular base. Starting with the morning and all day long. By the second half of the day, approximately an hour before the shooting down of the Boeing, three hedgehoppers took off into the air. I do not remember the specific time. One of the three air jets was fitted with such missiles. It was a Su-25
Did you see it personally?
Where was your observation point?
In the territory. I cannot say specifically.
Did you have the opportunity to watch specifically what was hung to the air jet pylons? Could you mix up air-to-air and air-to-earth missiles?
No, I could not mix them up. They differ in sizes, empennage, and color. The guidance head. It is so easy to recognize it. Actually, after some time only one jet returned, and two had been shot down. Somewhere in the East of Ukraine, I was told so. Only one jet returned, which had those suspended missiles.
So, did it return already without missiles?
Without any missiles. And the pilot was very frightened.
Are you familiar with that pilot, did you see him?
And can you tell us his name?
Voloshin last name.
Was he alone in the aircraft?
Yes. The aircraft is designed for one person.
Do you know his first name?
It was like Vladislav. I am not so sure. A captain.
So captain Voloshin returned. What was next?
He returned with the empty ammunition loadом.
Were there no missiles?
“The aircraft, it was not the one”
Tell us, Alexandr, the aircraft returned from the combat mission, you do not yet know about the loss of Boeing, but still you somehow are surprised by the fact that there are no more “air-to-air” missiles. Why?
Those missiles “air-to-air” are not part of the basic ammunition load. They are hung according to a special order. Usually, they tried not to rise into air such jets with such missiles. Because it is not allowed to transport such a missile along in the air.
Only two missiles of this type may be carried by such a jet. And it was never for them to be applied before. They were amortized beforehand. But just a day before, in a week time before this incident (loss of Boeing. – Editor), the use of these missiles has been urgently extended. And they were again delivered as ammunition. They have not been used for many years.
Their effective resource ended. Too old, yet Soviet production. But it was an emergency order and their resource was extended.
And was it that day when they were hung to the air jet?
They stood all time long with those missiles.
But still they did not fly?
They tried to let them fly as rare as possible – each flight reduces the resource. But this was the day when the jet to departure.
And did it return without them?
Yes. Knowing a little bit that pilot… (quite possible that the other two jets were shot down in front of him), and he had some scared reaction, inadequate. He might be frightened or as a revenge run the missiles into the Boeing. May be he just took it for some other combatant air jet.
Are these missiles with self-guided heads?
When he pushed them, did they begin to search for the target?
No. The pilot himself fixes the target. Then he launches the missile, and it flies to the target.
Could the pilot use these missiles at ground targets?
That is pointless.
What else did you remember that day? What did the pilot say?
The phrase he said after he was taken out of the jet: “The aircraft, it was not the one”. And in the evening there was a phrase, a question from a pilot for him, to the same Voloshin: “What about the aircraft?”. And he answered: “The aircraft got on a wrong time to a wrong place”.
“And the departures continued after the tragedy”
How long did that pilot serve there? How old is he?
Voloshin is about 30 years old. His regiment is based in Nikolayev. They were sent to Dnepropetrovsk. Just before that, they had a mission to Chuguev, near Kharkov. And for all that time they bombed Donetsk and Lugansk. Moreover, according to the information from one of the servicemen in the regiment in Nikolayev, they still continue to do that.
Did the pilots have a good combat experience?
Those who were there, they had experience. The Nikolayev regiment was the best regiment of Ukraine for 2013, as I know.
Was the story with the Boeing somehow discussed among the pilots?
All the attempts to discuss were suppressed immediately. And the pilots mainly communicated among them, they are, you know, so … proud.
After everybody learned of this Boeing, – what happened to that pilot, to captain Voloshin?
Departures continued afterwards. Moreover, the pilots were not changed. There were the same faces.
“There were no flights… but they were shot down”
Let’s try to simulate events. How could they develop? Three aircraft flew on a combat mission. They were roughly in that area, where the Boeing was. Two aircraft were shot down. This captain Voloshin got nervous, was scared, and perhaps he took the Boeing for a warplane?
It is possible. It was a big distance, he just could not see specifically what type of aircraft it was.
Which is the distance these missiles are launched?
They may fix the target from some 3 – 5 kilometers.
And what is the difference of speeds in a warplane and a Boeing?
There is no difference: a missile has a pretty good speed. It’s a very fast missile.
Does it catch up anyway? And what is the height?
He may properly do it at his maximum lift – at 7 thousand meters – quite easy fix the target.
Can reach it upwards?
Yes. The aircraft cam simply uplift the snoot, and it is not a problem to fix that and launch the missile. The range of this missile is over 10 kilometers
What is the distance from the target where the missile explodes? Can it hit the hull of the craft and explode?
Depending on the modification. Literally, it can hit the hull from the distance of 500 meters.
We worked at the disaster place and we noticed that the fragments hit the hull very closely. The feeling was that the explosion was literally in some two meters from the Boeing.
There exists such a missile. It is the principle of pellets – the missile explodes and the pellets disperses. Afterwards the main warhead of the missile hits.
Ukraine declared that on that day they had no combat flight missions. We have controlled different consolidated sources on downed aircraft; Ukraine denies everywhere that its warplanes made flights that day.
I know that. Ukraine also stated that the two aircraft were downed on the July 16th, and not on the 17th. And the date was modified for several times. But in reality the departures were on a daily basis. I have seen that myself. Departures had place even during the armistice, however less frequently.
What kind of weapons was on the aircraft from your airport? Were there used phosphorous bombs, incendiary mixtures? Ukrainian artillery used them on ground very actively.
I did not see any phosphorous (bombs). But still fuel-air bombs were used.
Are they prohibited?
Yes. The bomb was specially assigned for Afghanistan. It has been prohibited and they did not use it until recently. It is prohibited by some convention, I do not remember, I will not say. This bomb is unhuman, it burns everything. It burns absolutely everything.
Did they hang them on and use during the combat missions?
Yes. Also there have been the prohibited cluster bombs. Aviation cluster bomb — it depends on the size — can hit a very dimensioned target. One bomb can cover an athletic field. And that is completely, all the surface absolutely, the entire area of two hectares.
Why did they decide to use such weapon?
All of them executed the order. And it was unclear who gave that order.
What is the sense of such a weapon? Intimidation?
A maximum destruction of manpower.
They can beat you for any careless word
Why did you leave for Russia? Why did you take the decision to speak about that? Why, finally, no one knew about that earlier? For you are not the only witness!
Everybody is frightened by the SBU (Security service of Ukraine. – Editor.) and the national guard. People can be beaten for any careless word, arrested for any tiny suspicion of being sympathetic towards Russia or to the opolchenye/militia. While I was from the very begging against this “anti-terrorist operation”. I do not agree with the policy of the Ukrainian state. The civil war is a wrong thing. It is not normal to you’re your own people. And I do not agree initially to participate somehow or be on the side of Ukraine, being partially involved in that!
The reference from Komsomolskaya Pravda
What weapons were used by the Ukrainian aviation in Donbass sky
R60 missile – guided, close-in slugfest “air-to-air”
Developed in 1967. Has a specific empennage and solid-propellant engine. Infrared self-guide head. R60 is equipped with proximity fuzes, the blasting of the missile takes place at a distance of 5 to 2,5 meters from the target. Projectiles – wolfram wire or bars. Practical flight range makes 10 – 12 kilometers. Starting with 1973 used on all the types of fighter jets and on hedgehoppers. For the last 10 years this armament is not in service with the Russian army, the manufacturing of missile is shut, the special pylons for the missile sling are not used and are not manufactured. Delivered for export.
ODAB-500 – Fuel-air aviation bomb
This type of bomb is the most prevailing in the post-Soviet space. It is designed for the damage of manpower, industrial constructions, easy-vulnerable equipment, light engineering construction; for antipersonnel and antitank minefields clearing. Used from heights of 200 – 1000 meters. The bomb contains 193 kilograms of piperylen – a flammable liquid, which in blasting transforms into aerosol and is blasted by a second charge. The effective casualty radius makes 30 meters. It is considered a non-conventional ammunition.
Used as well in hedgehoppers Su-25.
RBK – Single cluster bomb
The most prevailing variant in the post-Soviet space. The representation depends on the type; a container equipped with aircraft bombs of small caliber, which disperses in the blast of the charge combat elements over the target. It is considered a non-conventional ammunition. Used in most types of Soviet and Russian aircraft.
Source Komsomolskaïa Pravda