Continuing my translation of that old KP interview from December 2014. In which anonymous witness “Alexander”, an employee of a small military airport in Eastern Ukraine which dispatched jets for bombing runs of the Donbass in 2014, implicates Captain Vladislav Voloshin as being a “person of interest” in the MH-17 catastrophe.
There is accompanying video, for those who understand Russian. The interview was taken by KP reporters Nikolai Varsegov, Vladimir Sungorkin and Dmitry Steshin. It is my understanding that the anonymous witness later was able to get his family out of the Ukraine and defect to Russia. He has not been heard of since, and is presumably living anonymously, or perhaps in a witness protection program.
This old news only grew legs again, with the recent (earlier this week) suspicious death/suicide of Captain Voloshin who, at the time of his death, was working as the manager of the Nikolaevsk airport in the Ukraine.
KP: So Captain Voloshin returned [from his bombing run]. And then?
Alexander: He returned with an empty quiver.
KP: No rockets?
Alexander: That is correct.
KP: Tell us, Alexander, the plane returns from its mission, you are not yet aware of the crash of the Boeing, but for some reason you were struck by the absence of the air-to-air rockets. Why?
Alexander: These air-to-air rockets are not part of the standard armaments. They are only hung on [to the pylons] by special order. As a rule, planes bearing these rockets try not to get airborn. Because this type of rocket is dangerous to take along into the air. A jet such as this can only accommodate two such rockets [one strapped to each pylon]. Such rockets have never before been employed, they had been retired prior to this [mission]. And yet, literally just one week before this incident [the crash of the Boeing], the employment of these rockets was suddenly resurrected, as a very urgent order. And they were once again employed and put into the arsenal. They had not been employed for many years.
KP: Why not?
Alexander: They were obsolete. They were old, from Soviet times. This inventory had been written down and retired. And then suddenly there was an order to put [these rockets] back into play.
KP: And on that day [July 17] they hung them onto the jet?
Alexander: No, they [?] stood there the whole time with the rockets on.
[yalensis: This part of Alexander’s testimony is confusing and self-contradictory. Alexander was previously saying that the rockets were never used and had been obsoleted, but now he is saying that they were always out there, strapped onto the plane(s) – plural. I think he is saying that the rocket-strapped planes were always standing around on the terminal, but never put into the air. What struck him on that particular day was that one rocket-strapped plane actually flew into the air. Again — this part is confusing and self-contradictory, but I reckon that is a normal thing for eye-witness testimony in general.]
KP: But they didn’t fly with them?
Alexander: They tried to keep them on the ground as much as possible. Every flight increases the obsolescence factor. But on that day, the plane flew.
KP: And it returned without them [the rockets] ?
Alexander: Yes. I am somewhat acquainted with this pilot. [yalensis: Implication being he doesn’t respect the guy very much]. It is possible that when he witnessed the two other jets being shot down before his eyes [yalensis: Recall that of the 3 jets on the bombing run, two were shot down by Rebels on the ground using shoulder-rockets, and only Voloshin’s jet survived], he might have just had a panicky reaction, an inappropriately cowardly reaction. He could have, out of panic or revenge, just launched his [air-to-air] rockets into the Boeing. Perhaps he took it for some military aircraft.
KP: Do these rockets have self-guiding warheads?
KP: When they are launched, they seek their target?
Alexander: No. The pilot sets the target. Then he launches the rocket and it flies at the target.
KP: Is the pilot able to aim such rockets at ground targets?
Alexander: That would be insane.
KP: What else do you remember about that day? What did the pilot say?
Alexander: He uttered something the moment he stepped out of his plane: “It was the wrong plane.” Later that evening [I overheard] another pilot ask him, Voloshin, “What happened with the plane?” And he replied: “The plane was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” [yalensis: In all the phrases the same Russian word is used for “plane”: самолет]
KP: Has that pilot been working there a long time? How old is he?
Alexander: Voloshin is around 30. [yalensis: Not really. Voloshin was 29 when he died this past week, so he would have been only around 25 at the time of the Boeing crash. Well, maybe he looked older than he was. War can do that to a person, I reckon.] His unit is based in Nikolaev, with their command out of Dnepropetrovsk. Recently their command switched to Chuguev, near Kharkov. All this time they were constantly bombing Donetsk and Lugansk. And, from what I heard from somebody still serving in the Nikolaev unit, they are still doing that, to this day.
[to be continued]