Did the Ukrainian pilot pictured above shoot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17 of this year, killing all 298 passengers and crew and destroying the Boeing 777-200 as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Eastern Ukraine?
While Ukraine denies it and intelligence services in the United States and Germany say that Russia itself was ultimately behind the shootdown, Russian investigators now want the pilot to take a lie detector test.
The pilot in the photograph is identified by the English-language Russian media blog Fort Russ as Captain Vladislav Voloshin who was, according to Russian media reports, in the air along with two other Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet pilots on that day.
According a mystery witness identified only as “Alexander,” in Russian media reports, the two other planes were shot down, but Voloshin survived, returning to Aviatorskoye airport in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, appearing shaken. His plane returned without the missiles that it had left with, and Voloshin, the witness said, made cryptic comments such as “the plane was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Dutch investigators in charge of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 investigation have not yet issued their final report on the disaster, saying only that the plane was downed by multiple “high energy objects.”
But such Western nations as the United States, Germany, and Australia point the finger squarely at Russia, saying that the Russians provided the missile and launcher used by the Russia-backed rebels to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines plane from the ground.
In fact, shortly after the MH17 crash, rebel leader Igor Strelkov, also believed to be a Russian intelligence operative, posted a social media message appearing to claim credit for the shootdown, saying, “We did warn you — do not fly in our sky.”
That message soon disappeared.
Russia, however, is conducting its own investigation, and the Russians now say they have interviewed “Alexander,” who Russia’s Investigative Committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin described as “a Ukrainian serviceman, who claims to have voluntarily deserted his military unit and crossed into Russia.”
After interviewing the alleged witness, who first came forward to the Russian daily newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, the Russian investigators now say they want Voloshin to take a lie detector test.
Ukraine confirmed that Voloshin is indeed a pilot in the country’s air force, but denied that he flew any combat missions on July 17.
“It is easy to find out whether Voloshin flew a combat mission on July 17,” Markin said Wednesday. “Let Kiev show the so-called combat mission log to Dutch investigators, or better yet, let Voloshin take a lie-detector test with Dutch or Malaysian experts.”
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said last week that his country’s intelligence services possessed a satellite photo evidence that the pro-Russian rebels shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.