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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Ukrainian Intelligence Leaks Separatists' Conversation About Downed Airplane
7 years
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The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has uploaded a Youtube video with a recording of a conversation that purports to be between Igor Bezler (Bes, or "Demon"), a commander of the pro-Russian separatists, and Vasily Geranin, who is described as a colonel in the Russian Federation's GRU (main military intelligence), at 16:40,  and a second conversation between two pro-Russian separatists nicknamed "Major" and "Greek".

We have no confirmation of the authenticity of these recordings at all, and in general such leaks are hard to confirm. We do recognize Bezler's voice, however, from many other videos he himself has made and from press conferences for the "Donetsk People's Republic."

The Interpreter has translated the conversation:

Geranin: I understand, shit.
Bezler: A plane has just been shot down. Sapper's Group. It fell outside of Enakievo.
Geranin: The pilots. Where are the pilots?
Bezler: They went to search and photograph the downed plane. It's smoking...
Geranin: How many minutes ago?
Bezler: Somewhere around 30 minutes ago.

[after terrorists realize they have downed the plane]

Greek: Yes, Major.
Mayor: so the Chernukhino guys shot down the plane. From the Chernukhino roadblock. The Cossacks, who were stationed at Chernukhino.
Greek: Who?
Mayor: The Chernukhino roadblock, the Cossacks who are stationed at Chernukhino.
Greek: Yes, Major.
Major: The plane fell into pieces in the air, in the area of the Petropavlovsk coal mine. The first "200", they found the first "200" ["200 is the Russian term referring to dead bodies--The Interpreter]. It's civilian.
Greek: So there are 200s?
Major: Yes. Civilians.
Greek: So what have you got?
Major: In short, a super-heavy civilian craft.
Greek: Understood. Are there a lot of people there?
Major: It's totally f****d. The pieces are falling right into yards.
Greek: What kind of aircraft?
Mayor: I haven't figured it out yet. I haven't been near the main part yet. I only started to see where the first bodies were falling. There are remains there of the internal struts, chairs, bodies.
Greek: Understood. Are there any weapons?
Mayor: Nothing at all. Civilian things, pieces of medicines, towels, toilet paper.
Greek: Are there any passports?
Mayor: Yes. There's an Indonesian student. From the University of Thompson, shit.

There isn't any "University of Thompson" in Indonesia, so we're looking into whether this could be a reference to Thompson Rivers University in Canada as they have a joint program with Indonesia.