Pilots of crashed Russian plane were veterans of wars against Georgia
27 February, 2015
Pilots of crashed Russian plane were veterans of wars against Georgia
On the 11th of February of 2015, a Russian Sukhoi Su-24MP interdictor crashed during a practice mission. Similar incidents are hardly uncommon, considering the age and condition of Russian military planes, but a completely different detail has our attention: Both of the plane’s pilots, Igor Kukartsev and Anatoly Voloskov, participated in Russia-Georgia War in 2008.

Deceased Igor Kukartsev, who underwent military training in Georgia in Soviet times, was based at Kakheti’s Didi Shiraki airfield, flying bombers as part of 168
Guards Air Regiment during the Abkhazian War. His and Anatoly Voloskov’s missions in 2008 involved scouting Georgia’s aerial defense positions.
During the August War, Georgian anti-aircraft gunners took down two Su-24s. The first one was taken down on the 9th of August near Tskhinvali when heading for a bombing run along with two other planes. The plane was hit by a missile, and the pilots ejected. Igor Zinov was taken prisoner by Georgian troops, while his co-pilot, Igor Rzhavtin did not survive. His body was identified by the helmet, which had his name engraved upon it.
The second Su-24 was taken down on the 10th of August. It went down in the mountains near Java. The pilots, Oleg Starozhukov and Vladimir Bogodukhov, catapulted and made it on the ground safely to be later evacuated by a rescue helicopter.
In October of 2008, both pilots were given the Hero of Russia medal, which implies having committed a heroic feat or a valorous deed.

Author: Nukri Mgeladze
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