Military pilot Vladyslav Voloshyn is one of the16 heroes of the ATO whose portraits hang in the place of honour in the Presidential Administration. It is written under the portrait that captain with the call name “Grach” (“Rook”) was performing a sortie on Su-25 plane and was shot down from an air defense missile system by terrorists. However, he managed to catapult. He was awarded the order “For Courage” 3d degree.
26-year-old Vladyslav Voloshyn together with his commander arrived in Kyiv to the parade on An-26 plane. He came to the meeting in the uniform; the chevron says “Ground Attack Aircraft, Brigade 299”.
He speaks as if he reported — in a clear and laconic way, using constructions like “in the given situation I performed the assigned task”, “to eliminate the particular forces and means”.
The story of the man who has performed feats in the air is behind these plain words. For example, when his plane had an emergency landing, “Grach” piloted it until the last. It was the flight that “Grach” was awarded the order for on July 19, 2014. He has no order for the sorties during the Ilovaysk events, but he has a rescue story. Vladyslav noticed an accumulation of military equipment and warned his partner who managed to avoid the air defense missile system shelling. Voloshin's plane was shot down and Voloshyn had to catapult.
The pilot made 33 sorties in the East during one year of the war. He took part in all the key operations, including the ones during which his Su-25 was shot down. There were 5 cases like that, and all pilots were alive.
Vladyslav's story is almost a film-like one. He was born in the Luhansk region, and his parents still live in 10 kilometers from the Russian border. After the 9 grade at school, he decided to go to a military lyceum and then to Kharkiv University of the Air Force to become a pilot. He has been piloting Su-25 since 2012.
Photo: Administration of the President of Ukraine
Captain, call name “Grach”, commander of an air element of the air squadron of the tactical aviation brigade of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
On July 16, 2014, during a military operation in the ATO zone Su-25 piloted by him was shot down from an air defense missile system by terrorists. The wing and the chassis were damaged. According to the command, the pilot took the plane to the designated area and managed to make a forced landing.
Last spring, after a lot of falsified publications in Russian MM, he met with prosecutors from Amsterdam and police detectives from Australia. Vladyslav says that he was asked how often Su-25 planes or other ones were shot down. His answers convinced the officials.
We were at an interim airport. The task was to help troops who were entrapped get out. How to help?
The section of the road from Ilovaysk, which our troops planned to go along getting out of the entrapment, was blocked by militants and Russians. Our task was to eliminate them.
We developed the plan and the route, and started to implement them. I was the leader of the air pair. Together, we fulfilled the task.
On the way back, he was flying at extremely low altitude and noticed military equipment, Russians' or terrorists', as here were no markings.
I advised the partner guided by me to go to the left as there was the enemy on the right. He managed to fly away, but my plane was shot down. I had to catapult.
It is not true that I informed about the coordinates of the accumulation or enemy's equipment. I could not do that, but I informed my partner, and he informed our militaries.
I landed atop a hill. I saw a settlement ahead. I found out later that it was Starobeshevo. There was a trench in front of me and jumped into it just intuitively. There were shots and explosions around ...
We have an individual suspension system — belts which tie us to the plane. They are necessary for such situations when pilots have to catapult: the system makes catapulting safe. It should be taken off after landing, together with the parachute.
I tried to unfasten the suspension system, but my arm did not move. The fingers did, but the arm did not and it did not bend at the elbow. I managed to unfasten it with my left hand, got out of the trench and rushed to a woodland belt. There I tries to camouflage myself with leaves and thought over the further actions: how to get out to the territory controlled by Ukraine.
Halina Tytysh, The Ukrainian Truth
New service "Explain Ukraine". This is a daily mailout of two articles which were written about the situation in the Donbas by Donbas journalists and translated into English. Honest vision of people who work in the field is unbiased and fresh which is crucial in the world which is full of desinformation and propaganda. We try to share this vision in out daily mailout. You can subscribe here.