Today finishing my translation of that old KP interview from December 2014. In which anonymous eye-witness “Alexander” implicates Captain Vladislav Voloshin as being a “person of interest” in the MH-17 catastrophe. We got through that part of the interview where Alexander explained about the air-to-air rockets, and how Voloshin returned from his bombing run without the air-to-airs strapped to his pylons any more. And he looked ashen and when asked how it went, uttered a phrase, something like “It was the wrong plane,” and then later in the day, probably in the canteen while telling his story to the others: “The plane was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
As the interview continues, it becomes clear that Alexander is really not cool with the Kiev junta and what they are doing in their so-called “Anti-Terrorist Operation” in the Donbass. Whether or not his political views might have colored what he saw and heard, they certainly contributed to his decision to defect to Russia.
So we continue…
KP: Did the pilots have good military experience?
Alexander: Yes, the ones that were there were highly experienced. In one year, I think 2013, the Nikolaev unit was even [voted] the best unit in all of the Ukraine.
KP: Was the Boeing incident discussed among the pilots?
Alexander: All attempts to discuss this were squelched right away. But the pilots always mostly just talk to each other (anyhow), they are very haughty. [yalensis: Note the flash of contempt/resentment, the implication being that “Alexander” is a mechanic or ground-crew and not a pilot himself; Alexander also misunderstanding the question and thinking they meant discussing it among everybody in general.]
KP: After everyone learned what happened with the Boeing, what happened with this (particular) pilot, with Captain Voloshin?
Alexander: The flights continued after this. And the pilots didn’t change, they were always the same men.
KP: Let us attempt to model this sequence of events? How would this develop? Three planes flew out on a military mission. They were roughly in the same zone as the Boeing. Two planes were shot down. (Let’s say that) Captain Voloshin got nervous, panicked, and perhaps he mistook the Boeing for a military plane?
Alexander: It’s possible. There is a great distance, it’s probably he simply couldn’t tell what type of plane it was.
KP: From what distance are these rockets launched?
Alexander: From 3-5 kilometers they can fix on their target.
KP: What is the difference in velocity between a military plane and the Boeing?
Alexander: No difference. The rocket has a fairly good speed. This is a high-speed rocket.
KP: So, it would catch up, wouldn’t it? What is the altitude?
Alexander: The rocket is fully able, at its maximum altitude 7,000 meters, to attach to its target without any problem.
KP: And snag it from the air?
Alexander: Yes. The [military] plane can simply lift its nose up and, without any difficulty whatsoever, fix onto the target and launch the rocket. The rocket can travel a distance of more than 10 kilometers.
KP: At what distance from the target does the rocket explode? Can it penetrate the corpus and explode [from within]?
Alexander: Depending on the modification. It can explode either way: Within the corpus [of the target] or at a distance of 500 meters.
KP: We [reporters] happened to be working at the site of the catastrophe, and we noticed that fragments had penetrated the corpus in a compact array. We had the impression, that the explosion had occurred literally 2 meters away from the Boeing.
Alexander: There is such a rocket. It acts on the shrapnel principle. It explodes, unleashes shrapnel. And then the main part of the rocket strikes the target.
KP: The Ukrainian [government] has stated that there were no military flights on that day. We attempted to fact-check the records of shot-down planes. The Ukraine completely denies that any of her military aircraft were flying on that day.
Alexander: I know. The Ukraine also declared that those two jets were shot down on the 16th and not the 17th. And the dates were changed several times. But the reality is that the flights happened on a daily basis. I saw this with my own eyes. Even during the ceasefire the flights continued. More rarely, that’s true.
KP: With what type of weapons were the planes equipped at your aerodrome? Were they equipped with phosphorus bombs or napalm? On the ground, the Ukrainian artillery has been using [such weapons] very actively.
Alexander: I didn’t see any phosphorus bombs. But they did use volume-detonating bombs.
KP: Aren’t they banned?
Alexander: Yes. This (type of) bomb was designated for use in Afghanistan. Then it was banned, and has not been used recently. It was banned by some kind of convention, I don’t recall which, I can’t say. This bomb is inhumane, it burns everything. It burns absolutely everything.
KP: But they were still strapping them on and using them during the military actions (against the Donbass)?
Alexander: Yes, and they were using other types of banned weapons as well, such as casette bombs [cluster munitions]. The aviation cluster bomb — depending on its size — can strike a very widespread target. One bomb can cover an entire [football] stadium. In total, the absolute area, two hectares.
KP: Why were they employing such weapons?
Alexander: They were just following orders. But whose orders… well, that we don’t know.
KP: The point of such weapons being to frighten people?
Alexander: The maximum destruction of living flesh.
KP: Why did you leave for Russia? Why did you decide to tell your story? And why, in the final analysis, did nobody know about this earlier? After all, you are not the only witness.
Alexander: Everybody is scared of the SBU [Ukrainian security police] and the National Guard. People can get beaten up for any careless word, they can be imprisoned on the slightest suspicion of sympathy for the Rebels, or for Russia. And I was, from the very beginning, outspoken against this “Anti-Terrorist Operation”. I do not agree with the policies of the Ukrainian government. The civil war is not right. To murder one’s own people — is not normal. And whether or not to take part in this, but to be on the side of Ukraine and be a part of this, even partially — I did not agree to this from the very beginning!
[END OF INTERVIEW]
yalensis: Captain Voloshin, age 29, committed suicide (apparently) on March 18, 2018, just over a week ago. He has become a cause célèbre for Ukrainian Nationalist hard-liners who want to make of him not only a hero of the “Anti-Terrorist” war against Donbass, but also a martyr in their “struggle” against corruption. They are targeting government officials and managers of the Nikolaev airport who, they say, harassed Voloshin and drove him to suicide.
More details have leaked out about Voloshin’s death. According to the Federal Police in Nikolaev Oblast, the entire Voloshin family (Vladislav, his wife, and their two young children) were present in the home when Voloshin allegedly shot himself. Police and medics arrived at the house.
Voloshin was still alive, but barely, and was rushed to the hospital, but died soon after arrival there. Preliminary investigation determined that the shot came from a military pistol Mark ПМ known as a “Makarova”, from which the Serial Number had been removed. The pistol has been sent to the appropriate forensics experts for analysis.
Ukrainian police have opened an investigation under Article 1, Paragraph 115 (pre-meditated homicide), but apparently this is routine in any case of death by gunshot, so people shouldn’t get too excited or expect any startling revelations.
To my mind, as an avid reader of detective novels, there are 3 possible “theories” of Voloshin’s death. Without assigning any weight of probabilities, because that is something I could not possibly know or have a valid opinion:
- Murder, but for reasons other than MH-17 (for example, shot by wife, boss, stranger, etc.)
- Murder, related to MH-17 (like evil-doers cleaning up loose ends, that sort of thing)
In time, we may learn more.