Russian bombers carry out dozens, if not hundreds, of air raids on peaceful Ukrainian cities — Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv and others. Alongside with Russian artillerymen, bomber pilots are among the most cynical war criminals, because they can kill dozens of civilians making bombs fall on their heads with just one trigger’s pull.
Therefore, «Slidstvo.Info» pays special attention to the identification of Russian pilots and their commanders — this information can be valuable for Ukrainian and international lawsuits against Russia. Since the Russians keep the personal data of their pilots secret, the process of identifying their personalities becomes quite complicated.
But recently, the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine has published a list of names of the 559th Bomber Aviation Regiment of the Russian Aerospace Forces. According to Ukrainian intelligence, this unit is directly involved in air raids and bombings of peaceful Ukrainian cities. We examined this list in detail and identified a dozen Russian bomber pilots: commanders, as well as pilots and navigators.
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The Aviation Regiment from Rostov Oblast
The 559th Aviation Regiment is based in the city of Morozovsk, Rostov oblast. It takes only 400 km to fly from there to Ukrainian Mariupol, 500 km — to Kharkiv. The Regiment is armed with the latest Su-34 fighter-bombers, which are considered to be the elite of Russian military aviation.
This Regiment is the largest having this type of aircraft in the Russian Aerospace Forces – there are about 36 of them. We do not know how many air raids the pilots of this unit carried out on Ukraine. However, it is significant that the Ukrainian military has downed at least six Su-34 bombers since the beginning of the Russian invasion: these are the aircraft that we were able to identify using photos and videos. Probably there are much more Su-34 bombers that were downed over Ukraine. In general, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already shot down more than a hundred of Russian aircrafts, and this number is increasing every day.
The Bomber Commanders
One of our key tasks was to identify the commanders of aviation squadrons and links – those who directly manage the pilots and carry out air raids on Ukrainian ground. We succeed in identifying the Commander of the 1st Aviation Squadron, Lieutenant Colonel Evgeny Boldyrev. He is 38 years old and was born in the Russian city of Lipetsk.
Lieutenant Colonel Boldyrev graduated from the Borisoglebsk Higher Aviation School of Pilots, first flew the Su-24M front-line bomber, then changed it to the Su-34. Evgeny Boldyrev has a wife and a daughter. He also has a sister, Olesya Boldyreva.
Our colleagues from «Informnapalm» project found back in 2015 that Evgeny Boldyrev was involved in air raids and bombing of civilian cities in Syria, where Russian troops fought on the side of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Therefore, there is a fairly high probability that now Lieutenant Colonel Boldyrev carries out air raids on Ukrainian cities, having a lot of experience of such atrocities under his belt.
Under the authority of Boldyrev is Major Serhii Malovechko — navigator of the Aviation Squadron. He is 39 years old and originally from Chelyabinsk. He graduated from the Chelyabinsk Higher Military Aviation School of Navigators in 2004.
We also identified the Сommander of the Aviation Link — Major Denis Kochetkov. He is 33 years old and lives in the city of Morozovsk, where the Aviation Regiment is located. He has a profile on the motorists’ forum where he posts pictures of his car. He wrote there that he had lived in the far east of Russia for more than six years until he moved to the Rostov oblast.
The Senior Pilots
Young Russian pilots are under the authority of these officers, most of them didn’t even reach the age of 27. They probably have recently graduated from aviation schools and were sent to the 559th Bomber Aviation Regiment for the further service.
Senior Lieutenant Vladislav Morozov also serves in the 1st Aviation Squadron. He is 25 years old and is a senior bomber pilot. Judging by his Instagram, the young man adores glamorous life, restaurants and clubs. His Instagram page had 3,500 followers before the network was banned in Russia.
He boasted of photographs in military uniform.
There are also photos of a man in the barracks and in the cabin of the plane. Judging by the Instagram of Vladislav Morozov’s relatives, his father was also a pilot in the Russian Air Force.
Vladislav Morozov’s sister admires her brother and the bomber aviation. To our surprise, in 2018, she visited Kyiv, a separate album on her Instagram is devoted to this trip and is called «Kiev-2018».
Judging by the posts, the girl was fascinated by Kyiv architecture, historical monuments and landscapes. It is possible that her brother has already bombed or would still bomb the Ukrainian capital.
Another pilot from this squadron is 25-year-old Senior Lieutenant Vladislav Kurtyak. He comes from the Voronezh oblast. Kurtyak has a young wife and a favorite car. He also posts photos and videos from the cabin of the fighter jet.
Recently, Vladislav Kurtyak shared a video on his page, where the Su-34 bomber carries out an air raid on Kharkiv. The video was published in the Russian group «Bent on the War». We will remind, Vladislav Kurtyak flies the Su-34 bomber.
We have found the probable relatives of the Russian pilot Kurtyak, who live in Ukraine, namely in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast. However, they hung up the phone when they heard the question from «Slidstvo.Info» about the pilot Krutyak.
By the way, Krutyak is not the only one of this unit who has Ukrainian relatives. He serves alongside senior pilot Roman Chvyr. He is also 25 years old, he studied in the Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School for Pilots.
We also found his father Viktor Chvyr, also a former pilot, flying a Mi-24 helicopter.
Revealing moment: a man shared and liked a video footage from the cabin of a helicopter that was shelling Ukrainian positions near Hostomel airfield near Kyiv in the early days of the Russian invasion. The video is called «Good Job». Viktor Chvyr also shares various propaganda statements made by the Russian occupiers.
The Chvyrs family has relatives in Ukraine. The cousin of Viktor Chvyr (the father of the young pilot) lives in Lutsk. We talked to him. The man said that they do communicate and Russian relatives even once visited Lutsk. At the request of the journalist of «Slidstvo.Info» Ukrainian relative called his brother in Russia and asked whether the 25-year-old Roman is now flying.
«The brother (father of the 25-year-old pilot) said that Roman does not fly because he has no successful departures yet. There are a lot of cadets, almost everyone was added to a list. We told him to ban him from doing it, even that there could be no question! He (25-year-old Roman) will quit, he will not… He himself has already rethinked his opinion and realized that they are no longer saying the right thing. So, the most important for them is to stay at home there!», — said a Ukrainian relative of the Russian pilot in a conversation with a journalist of « Slidstvo.Info». The name of the relative is not disclosed for safety reasons.
We found several more senior pilots from this Aviation Regiment. For example, 25-year-old Senior Lieutenant Artur Chernyshov from Khabarovsk, who published photos from the aviation school on a Russian dating site, and 25-year-old Eduard Kolbin, who entered the Krasnodar Higher Military School in 2016, and whose father is also a pilot.
We emphasize that we do not have 100% evidence that these people are dropping bombs on Ukrainian cities. But the data published by the Ukrainian intelligence allow us to assert that military units in which the military men identified by us are serving have already been killing Ukrainians and destroying our cities.
Even if these young pilots and their commanders have not carried out air raids yet, it is likely that they would do it in the near future – Ukrainian special services have released data according to which Russia plans to involve even cadets of aviation schools in bombing of Ukraine.
Mentioning the daily losses of the Russian army – almost a third of the aircrafts intended for the war with Ukraine have already been destroyed – this scenario looks quite realistic.