“Pilot” from Tbilisi Threatens to Burn Kiev
26 February, 2015
“Pilot” from Tbilisi Threatens to Burn Kiev
An Armenian “Tile-layer” posing as the first military “pilot” of the “Luhansk People’s Republic.” “We will reach not only Kiev, but Lviv as well! I arrived to Luhansk as a volunteer from Georgia, but I’m Armenian. I came here in August to fight fascism,” This bold announcement was made for a Russian TV channel on January 17 by a man in a military uniform from the cockpit of an L-29 jet trainer aircraft.

Naturally, we got interested in the identity
of this man who claims to be a pilot from Georgia yet fights alongside Russian separatists and threatens to bomb Kiev and Lviv. Investigative journalism has yielded interesting results, identifying the “pilot” at Luhansk Airport as Aram Avagyan, former “pilot” of Georgian Air Force.
Kviris Palitra newspaper obtained Ava­gyan’s biography and established the following: the Armenian pilot is more than 50 years old, has four children, lives in Tbilisi and is quite fluent in Georgian. He enlisted in the Georgian Air Force in the spring of 1993, becoming a member of a helicopter squadron.geotv.ge He never attended flight school, but he was taught to fly a Mi-8 military transport helicopter and soon became head of the squadron. During the Abkhazian war, Avagyan made flights to Sokhumi and presumably participated in the aerial evacuation of refugees from the Kodori Gorge.
However, in the late 1990s he was dis­charged from Georgian Air Force for crashing a helicopter. The Mi-8T, piloted by Avagyan, unexpectedly banked and crashed during takeoff. Fortunately, the crash did not result in fatalities, although there were injuries. According to the conclusion of a special commission, the accident was deemed the result of a mistake by Avagyan and thus he was discharged.
In 2007, Aram applied to GAF for reinstatement, but his request was declined. His acquaintances say that after being cast aside by the “big aviation,” he became involved in construction. Apparently, he was rather successful in this new trade, with tiles laid and paved by him decorating many of Tbilisi’s apartments.

The Russian TV stories are filmed at the airfield of the Luhansk Aviation Museum, where about 50 aircraft are displayed, including the strategic bomber Tu-142.

So how did he end up the subject of a TV story aired by Russian channels on January 17th? It lauds Aram Avagyan, a pilot and a tile-layer from Tbilisi, as a hero. Russian journalists even nicknamed him the first military pilot of the “Luhansk People’s Republic.”
However, this TV story may be easily dismissed as Russian propaganda because not only was the helicopter pilot in question never trained to fly a plane, but the L-29 seen in story was never shown taking off, either.
The Russian TV stories are filmed at the airfield of the Luhansk Aviation Museum, where about 50 aircraft are displayed, including the strategic bomber Tu-142. The propagandists could have just as easily stuck Aram Avagyan into the huge Tu-142 and made him say that he could bomb not only Kiev or Lviv but, if needed, Washington as well.
Jokes aside, the propaganda pieces advertising the two museum exhibits L-29 and Su-25 as the first robins of insurgents’ air force are designed by Russian Special Services for a very clear purpose: in case Russian planes bomb the positions of Ukrainian army, Kremlin will have a ready response – Russian Air Force has nothing to do with this. The bombings may be attributed to none other than the first pilot of the “Luhansk Peoples’ Republic,” Aram Avagyan from Tbilisi.

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