SBU stated in their report that the accused

group of soldiers decided to proceed with an

operation in order to capture the Russian military

airplane with its pilot who supposedly agreed

with the proposed defection to the Ukrainians.

The operation was not approved however,

and the soldiers acted against the secret

service disapproval. “Thank to this, the enemy

acquired the information about the Ukrainian AF

personnel and operational aircraft locations. This

information enabled the Russian Army to shell

Kanatove airport in Kirovograd region”, stated

SBU and added that during the Russian raid the

unit commander was killed, 17 Ukrainian soldiers

wounded, two fighters completely destroyed

and the airport runway with building heavily


The Russian rocket attack took place on July

23, 2022. As a result, two Su-27 fighters were

destroyed. After that the photographs appeared

of the wrecks of at least two more Su-24

destroyed at Kanatove airport. Those had been

most likely struck of charge before the Russian

rocket attack. This case is obviously related to

the article written this March by the American

journalist Michael Weiss from Yahoo News. He

spent several weeks researching the Ukrainian

efforts to convince Russian pilots to defect to

their side. Weiss also met a Ukrainian volunteer

Bohdan who took par in the operation. The IT

sector volunteers, together with the secret

service and special units have worked on it

from March to June 2022. It was based on the

law adopted after the Russian invasion by the

Ukrainian Parliament. Large sums of money were

offered to the Russian soldiers who would defect

with their equipment. One million US dollars for

a military airplane, half a million for a helicopter.

In addition, the soldiers and their families were

promised new identity and help with relocation

abroad. Volunteer Bohdan described three cases

for Yahoo News when the Russian pilots were

almost convinced to defect. The Russians on the

other side claim to have known about the plan

from the beginning and playing double game with

the Ukrainians.

One of those three pilots was Igor Tveritin. This

experienced 48 years old pilot previously flew

strategic Tu-160 bombers and served in Syria as

well. During the war in Ukraine, he already flew

Tu-22M3 and bombed the targets in Mariupol. He

had a wife and three children and demanded that

the Ukrainians get them out of Russia first. He

was supposed to fake a technical problem during

the flight and land on the Ukrainian side. The

rest of crew had no idea about his plans. Then,

the Russians captured Mariupol and Tveritin

was transferred to other flight duties. Also, he

supposedly kept raising his demands and the

Ukrainians cut off the relationship with him.

Another pilot, 33-years old Andrei Maslow, flew

Su-24 bomber. He was married as well but

wanted to flee with his lover and demanded that

the Ukrainians arrange a new identity for her.

Once the Ukrainian checked her background, they

found out she was in contact with the Russian

FSD and this plan fell through. For the third

time the Ukrainian established the contact with

36-years old Roman Nosenko who fle Su-24 and

Su-34. He was going to incapacitate his co-pilot

with drugs put in his coffee. He demanded though

that his wife escaped first but the Ukrainians also

found out she was in contact with FSB so they

backed off. These attempts were suspended last

June and according to Yahoo News it is clear now

that the Russian FSB knew about these plans in

many cases. The Russians claim they had known

about all of this from the beginning, and they

were pulling the Ukrainians’ leg. It is clear today

that the attempt organized by the soldiers from

the Kanatove airbase on their own was a Russian

trap in fact. It is certain though that FSD doesn’t

trust their own pilots-three of them mentioned

above no longer fly.

Photos of the aftermath of the July 2022 Russian missile attack on the Kanatove reserve airfield have only now been released by Ukraine's SBU secret service.

The non-airworthy Su-24s were also destroyed in the attack on Kanatove on July

23, 2022.


INFO Eduard

The Russian attack on Kanatove destroyed

two Su-27 fighters.

June 2023