Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov
Original of the Translated Interview: Khodakovskiy Refutes Information that the Militia has BUK
Preamble: On July 23, 2014, Anton Zverev, Peter Graff and Giles Elgood of Reuters came out with an article entitled “Ukraine rebel commander acknowledges fighters had BUK missile.” Prior to this interview, all such claims were firmly denied by the Novorossiya Militia, as well as by Russia. Considering the venerable reputation of Reuters, this sensational news was spread far and wide by the Western media.
Except that this news is now forcefully being challenged as false. Khodakovskiy says that he never stated to his interviewer anything of the kind that has been attributed to him. What’s more, Khodakovskiy indicates that there are video recordings of the interview, in possession of several TV channels, which will prove him right – they will show, according to Khodakovskiy, that he never said that the Novorossiya Militia had BUK complexes and that this statement cannot be attributed to him.
Did the interviewer somehow misunderstand what Khodakovskiy was saying? According to Khodakovskiy, his interviewer spoke Russian quite well. Is it possible that Khodakovskiy is lying? The interview with Khodakovskiy was taped. Copies of portions of the videotape were submitted to other news channels, including to REN-TV and ORT. Khodakovskiy speaks confidently that he never said anything of the kind that was reported by Reuters. Moreover, his interview given to the TV program “The Essence of Time – DPR” at about the same time, contains no such admissions regarding “BUK” complexes.
In this regard, all I can do is challenge Reuters to produce the tape that will show Khodakovskiy saying what Reuters claims he said in his interview. If Reuters does not, I will reserve the judgement to the readers of this blog. If Reuters does, and Khodakovskiy is shown to have lied, I will publicly announce this on this blog.
Reuters Article, July 23, 2014: Ukraine rebel commander acknowledges fighters had BUK missile
LifeNews Live Interview, July 23, 2014: Khodakovskiy Refutes Information that the Militia has BUK
Ria Novosti, July 23, 2014: Khodakovskiy Denies Speaking About the Militia Using BUK
Recorded Interview, July 23, 2014: Alexander Khodakovskiy re Malaysian Boeing Catastrophe
Transcript of LifeNews Interview with Alexander Khodokovskiy
Video of the Interview: Khodakovskiy Refutes Information that the Militia has BUK
News Anchor: One of the leaders of the Militia, Alexander Khodakovskiy, has refuted the information published by the Reuters agency.
Today, Western journalists disseminated an interview given by the commander of Battalion “Vostok”, in which he allegedly confirmed that the Militia had in its possession a “BUK” complex at the time of the crash of the Malaysian Boeing.
However, Alexander Khodokovskiy states that he said nothing of the sort to the agency. And, right now, on the line with our studio is the commander of the Militia Battalion “Vostok”, Alexander Khodakovskiy.
News Anchor: Hello, Alexander Sergeevich. So, how did it happen that the incorrect quotation made its way into all of the global mass media?
Alexander Khodakovskiy: Good Evening. The tragedy that occurred did, in fact, draw a lot of attention. And journalists, representatives of various mass media outlets started frequenting us, naturally with requests to provided commentary with respect to what had occurred, and what the role of the militias was in all of this.
We did indeed have a conversation with a representative of the agency that launched this information, and we discussed the possible versions [of what happened]. The thing is that we cannot be considered, not to any degree at all, to be experts in the investigation of aviation catastrophes. Accordingly, we can only operate on the basis of verifiable information, and, to date, this information has not been published because the commission has yet to finish its work.
This is the kind of information that I provided to them in my interview, which was recorded with a video camera. At the same time, we analyzed the versions, which to date have been disseminated by the mass media, and one of the versions was the accusation that the militias, who are supported by Russia, used a “BUK” complex against the Boeing.
I let him know perfectly clearly that, as a commander of a military unit, if I had equipment like that in my possession, I would not have, under any circumstances, employed it against a target that did not pose a threat to our positions. Not one of our commanders – it is not as if we roll in equipment like that – accordingly, no commander would have ever engaged in such inefficient usage. This may sound quite cynical right now in relation to this tragedy; however, it is a fact.
Only those aircraft, only those targets that pose a threat to us will be attacked with the means that we have in our possession.
News Anchor: Alexander Sergeevich, this is very important – you see, in the same interview it says that some other militias received this “BUK” complex. Do you know anything about this, in principle, or not?
Alexander Khodakovskiy: No, I do not know. In response to a question like this from the reporter, I challenged him to provide evidence, because our area is tightly monitored by all means possible, including also satellite imagery. So, please – “BUK” is a fairly large unit, and it can be easily detected from any type of photography – so, please, show your evidence, and we will then have to respond in accordance with its weight.
News Anchor: Once more, I would like to confirm it with you, so you can say it during our live broadcast – does the Militia currently have “BUK” or not?
Alexander Khodakovskiy: I am telling you absolutely – after we analyzed the entire situation and took inventory of the equipment in our arsenal – I can tell you with full authority that the Militia has no “BUKs”. MANPADS – yes, those we do have. But their upper ceiling is no more than …
News Anchor: … You do not now and never had any?
Alexander Khodakovskiy: We do not now and never had any.
News Anchor: I would also like to ask – who did you have your conversation with? Did he speak Russian well, and did he understand what you were telling him?
Alexander Khodakovskiy: Yes, the person spoke Russian quite well. Portions of the video recording were provided to the leading Russian TV channels, including REN-TV and ORT. Accordingly, if someone requires proof, then this proof can be obtained from the above-mentioned sources.
News Anchor: In your opinion, who stands to benefit from the publication of such incorrect information?
Alexander Khodakovskiy: During the interview, I expressed my opinion that the publication of incorrect information may be in the interests of those who wish to stir up this situation and to undermine the preliminary conclusions which have been reached
At this time, we realize that it is difficult to accuse Russia and the Militia of culpability in the deaths of so many innocent people, without proof. However, someone, nevertheless, is very interested, at this time, to lay this blame [on Russia and the Militia].
This is despite the fact that I said very specifically in my interview that the only party guilty of this is the Ukrainian government. Because the information and the materials that the government disseminated over the Internet speak to the fact that they allegedly had the evidentiary basis proving that the Militia was in possession of a “BUK” [complex]. However, if they had this [evidentiary] base in advance, why is it that they did nothing to amend the flight paths and change the directions of the civilian airlines to divert them away from the combat area?
We can find, on the Internet, proof in the form of intercepted telephone conversations, which allegedly contain evidence proving the presence of “BUK” [complexes] in the possession of the Militia. And, so, in any event, whether or not this information is authentic, the Ukrainian government was obligated to do everything in its power to ensure that the routes of civilian airlines did not pass over the area where hostilities are occurring, and where, according to the Ukrainian government, there were “BUK” complexes ready to be used.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This article may not reflect the views and opinions of others who work on this blog. It was prepared and published by Gleb Bazov acting alone. The defence of fair comment is asserted.