Two Russian fighter jet pilots who were shot down and captured in Ukraine provided information during a press conference on Friday, March 11, and spoke about President Vladimir Putin’s orders. They commented on knowing about the attacks since January, on instructions to attack civilian targets and on believing that Russia has already lost the war.
In the following video, you can use the settings in the corner of the player to add subtitles and also to trigger automatic translation. In addition, below, we describe most of what was said by the pilots, both in this video and in other excerpts published by the Ukrainian media since yesterday:
Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Commander of the 47th Aviation Regiment, Maksym Kryshtop, stated that he became aware of the attacks on Ukraine as early as January 2022.
After that, according to him, the delivery of ammunition to the aircraft began. At the same time, they started training, but under the guise of joint training with Belarus. It was flights at extremely low altitudes and training in anti-air defense detection.
Then, the combat order to attack the territory of Ukraine reached the unit on the night of February 23. “I made the first combat flight on February 24th to destroy the combat force south of the Balakleya settlement. The attack was carried out by high explosive power bombs, weighing 3 tons. The target has been hit,” he said.
He made another flight on March 3 with similar projectiles. Their target was a column of Ukrainian troops near Izyum in the Kharkiv region.
The third flight took place on March 6, with more tons of bombs. He says that there he realized that his targets were no longer military buildings, but civilian residential buildings, but he followed the “criminal orders” received. Following the attack, he was shot down by air defense, after which the National Guard arrested him.
He said he recognizes and admits that he committed heinous crimes, apologized to the Ukrainian people and said he would make every possible effort to end the war. “Don’t follow orders like that, there is such an opportunity. I showed weakness, cowardice and I did. I deeply hope that our leaders at all levels will come to consciousness and stop destroying peaceful cities.”
Source: with agencies