In the sky above Transnistria, 23 March 2014, a Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down, carrying out video and photography. Specialists of local state security say: “The launch of the UAV was carried out from the territory of Ukraine by a group of persons allegedly related to the operational and technical units of the Security Service of Ukraine, the General Staff of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, or to supporters of the Legal Sector, in order to conduct reconnaissance activities on the territory of Transdniestria.
Similar occurrences in the sky of Transnistria have not been more than 20 years. The last time the air defense force in this region was used in the summer of 1992. Then the combat launches carried out the calculations 14-th Guards Combined Arms Army of Russia. The goals are the Moldovan MiG-29, inherited by the republic after the collapse of the USSR. The 31 aircraft was launched to Moldova from Hungary in 1991, however, after declaring independence by the republic, all 48 regiment pilots and most of the technical staff left for Russia and other former Soviet republics. Then the Moldovan Defense Ministry launched a campaign to recruit pilots of Moldovan nationality. By the spring of 1992, the Moldovan Air Force had four pilots who had experience of flying the MiG-29.
The greatest interest is represented by two episodes of the war in the Transnistrian sky, which are not known to the general public, since the direct participants in these events did not publicize themselves in order not to be subject to criminal prosecution by the Moldovan authorities. The latter declared the Transnistrian and Russian military to be wanted as criminals.
Who frightened MOLDOVAN "MIGS"?
Dmitry Zhukov - author of the book “Wars on the Ruins of the USSR” - the first use case aviation during the Transnistrian conflict he described as follows:
“On June 23, the Moldovan Air Force was tasked with destroying a strategically important bridge across the Dniester linking Transdniestria with Bender. Two MiG-29 aircraft, which carried six OFAB-250 bombs, were used to strike. To monitor the results of the raid, one MiG-29UB took part in the operation.
At 19.15, the Moldovan pilots bombed, but inaccurately, and the bridge remained intact, and all the bombs fell on the nearby village of Parcani. A direct hit destroyed the house in which the whole family perished. Moldovan officials initially denied any involvement of their air force in the raid. However, later the Minister of War of the Republic of Moldova acknowledged the destruction of the house, but rejected the statements of the media about the death of people.
Why didn't the pilots get into a strategically important bridge? The author of the material received an answer to this question during a conversation with the officer of the 1162-th anti-aircraft missile regiment of the 59-th Guards Motorized Rifle Division Yuri K., which was held in 1995 year. At that time, the 14 Army was already in a fever of “reforms” (or rather, it was simply dispersed), therefore, realizing that in the near future many of the combatants would leave for Russia, on their own initiative, began to collect an invoice for future use. In the course of the journalistic search, we managed to communicate with senior officers of the army headquarters, anti-aircraft gunners and gunners, reconnaissance officers and "commandants" - the main actors of that war. Some, having learned about my "hobby", themselves offered to talk about the events that became witnesses and participants. The only condition is not to give their names before the recognition of the Transdnistrian Moldavian Republic or until the withdrawal of troops from the region.
When I recorded conversations on the tape recorder, I understood perfectly well that they would not be able to publish them in the coming years - coverage of the hostilities in Transnistria was not welcome then. For us, the journalists of the weekly army newspaper “Soldier of the Fatherland”, the department of educational work even formulated a phrase that we had to use if necessary to mention the events of 1992: “From the first to the last day, the Russian soldiers observed“ armed neutrality ”, not letting yourself be dragged into the slaughterhouse. This was one of the factors for ending the armed phase of the conflict. ” Short, clear, but incomprehensible. Like, guess yourself!
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE SKY OF TRANSNESTERS IN THESE DAYS?
“In the evening of June 19, the 1992 of the year after the Moldovan attack on Bender, the regiment, like other parts of the division, raised the alarm,” said officer Yuri K. - The anti-aircraft missile regiment was armed with Osa air defense system. According to the state, there were 5 batteries, but due to the fact that part was cropped, that is, the battery accounted for 4 soldier, only one managed to complete.
Having collected all the personnel, they began to prepare the technique of the first battery. At the same time, they began to work out calculations. What was “officially” the battery? These are 4 combat vehicles, 2 TZM (transport-loading machines), BTR-60 (PU-12), ZIL-131 - portable SPTA (spare tools and accessories), ZIL-131 - MTO (maintenance machine) and transport vehicle.
Equipment and people were collected on crumbs. One combat vehicle from the first battery, the other from the second. Assembled 4 combat vehicles, 1 TZM, 1 BTR-60 (PU-12, anti-aircraft missile battery control station) and GAZ-66 (П-15, radar reconnaissance station, with radio station P-142).
Two days passed relatively calmly. All classes and work took place in the park. The equipment was in boxes.
22 June before lunch held classes. In 13 hours officers, ensigns with personnel went to lunch. In addition to the dress in the park there was one officer and one conscript soldier.
Between 14 and 15, the air defense chief called for hours and ordered one combat vehicle to be expelled from the park. The task is to take a position behind the fleet of an artillery regiment. I prepared a combat vehicle for the march. When we were already in front of the KTP, we received a new introductory one: “Put the battery in position”. Both the first and second teams were the result of the ciphering of the Minister of Defense, Pavel Grachev, who from June 22 allowed to respond to fire in the event of a direct threat of attack on military towns.
While preparing the technique, another hour passed. We went to the starting position in the area of the park zone of the 59 division. The regiment commander commanded: "To conduct training."
Conducted a functional control, then turned on the antenna "on radiation" to create a reflection card from local objects. During power-on, I noticed two marks on the indicator. Immediately took them to the accompaniment.
With the help of TOV (Television Optical Sight), I observed the targets visually. Two MiG-29 went along the Dniester bed in the direction of Bender. Before the city they disappeared behind the hilly terrain, then passed over the bridge and the village of Parcani.
Reported to the battery commander azimuth and range. I’m sure my report went through the whole chain right up to Commander General Yuri Netkachev, but no one decided to give a start command.
After turning the aircraft took a reverse course. Again, I found them at a distance of 15 kilometers. 5 – 7 seconds passed. At a distance 13,5 kilometer took to escort. Visually I saw at a distance 13 kilometers.
After capturing fighters for car maintenance, the pilots were clearly nervous. As a result, their bombs did not hit the target. One fell into 300 – 400 meters near the bridge, and the second and third landed in Parkany - a Bulgarian village located along the left bank of the Dniester between Bender and Tiraspol. I reported that the target was conducting a bombing.
The pause dragged on. The radio was silent. When the Goal to Destroy command arrived, it was too late. The range is more than 10 kilometers and targets were deleted. I would not have got them, because the furthest border of the affected area is 10 kilometers 300 meters. Moldavian airplanes disappeared with impunity in the north-west direction.
From this episode began the real combat work. Everyone understood that the Moldovan military would not stop at nothing to destroy the Transnistrian republic. 23 June in the regiment came assigned composition. By the way, the "partisans" were taken back in May. The mobist of the unit went to the city recruiting office, selected documents for specialists. Then they were invited to the location for a conversation. Due to this, all the batteries were completed in one day.
Combat work was organized as follows: the battery received target designation from the command point of the regimental commander. Inside the battery, the commander of the battery gave the command to open fire to the calculations. The suddenly emerging targets fired on their own, followed by a report to the regimental commander.
We worked with two cars and constantly changed combat positions. They were located in the gardens near the village of Ternivka and in the Middle Khutor. There we guarded the tank farm. Each pair was assigned a sector of responsibility. Within its borders we could hit targets.
All these days we hardly slept. The regiment returned to the meeting at night, to 23.00. The commander of the regiment brought the mission to the next day, and we again fell into combat positions. ”
SECOND COMING OF THE MIGS
“On the morning of June 26 again collided with MiGs,” continued Yuri K., recall. “The planes took off from the military airfield of Marculesti, located just north of the Moldovan capital. They came from the northwest, but at the time of the seizure they changed course and began to leave to the northeast.
Two MiG-29 flew to bomb the Tiraspol tank farm. The planes flew close together, at a distance of less than 50 meters, so the goal was originally the same. Then the goals on the screen are divided. I took them to the accompaniment and immediately launched.
He fired two missiles. On the launcher of the OSR "Osa" is 6 missiles. This allows you to shoot both single and "burst": two anti-aircraft guided missiles (missiles - A.K.) with an interval of 4 seconds.
Clearly in TOV, I saw an undermining of a rocket and how a white smoke plume appeared, characteristic of hitting fragments in the fuel system, behind the MiG. Got it!
I know for sure that the wreckage of the rocket fell on the territory of Ukraine. The frontier guards and the National Guard hastily cordoned off the area where the debris of the missile defense fell and blocked the border with the Transdnistrian Moldavian Republic. The fate of the aircraft and the crew is not known to me. From the Dnestrovskaya Pravda newspaper for 1992 a year, I recognized the names of Moldovan pilots who decided to "become famous" by bombing Transnistria. They are Senior Lieutenants Alexander Daranutsa, Alexander Bobovich, Svyatoslav Meduran, Captain Russu (and the newspaper, and my interlocutor incorrectly called the names of the pilots. The bridge was bombed: Major Vitaly Russu, Captain Alexander Daranutsa, Senior Lieutenants Alexander Popovich and Svyatoslav Neburak. - Author).
In his diary Colonel Victor Chernobrivyi, an officer of the 14 Army Headquarters, made the following entry that day:
“June 26 to 7 hours 30 minutes.
From the western direction at a distance of 35 kilometers from Bender, the enemy put a passive obstacle to cover two MiG-29 aircraft.
At the time the aircraft reached the target, the tank farm in Tiraspol, who was at the command center of the air defense of the army, Colonel G. Dobriansky ordered the destruction of the target.
A few minutes after the launch of the Zour from the battery, they reported: “The explosion at 3000 altitude, the target mark disappeared from the screen.”
The plane that was damaged fell onto the territory of Moldova, the official Chisinau denied the fact of the loss of the aircraft.
Scouts from a special-purpose company 14 Army, who conducted a raid "on the other side", brought the wreckage, which were identified as a fragment of the MiG-29 antenna.
After this incident, there were no raids on the territory of Transnistria.
Only after the end of hostilities did the Moldovians officially recognize the loss of one MiG-29, and there is every reason to believe that this fighter is on account of the air defense of the 14 Army. ”
AFTER THE WAR
“7 August we returned to the park. The bottom line is two "scared" and one shot down MiG, - recalled Yuri K. - In total, since 22 July 1992, 29 launches anti-aircraft guided missile launches using air targets, because of various malfunctions of anti-aircraft guided missiles or transport- launch containers (TPK), 24 disagreements were recorded (the launch was made, but the rocket did not come out of the container. - Auth.). The 5 TPK, used during the combat operation of an anti-aircraft missile regiment in the sky of Transnistria, was kept in stock.
On July 12, our battery went to the Kolbasna village of the Rybnitsa district to cover the artillery ammunition depot that the 14 army inherited from the former Odessa military district. The airfield of Marculesti, where the MiGs were based, is located in a straight line 120 kilometers from Kolbasna, therefore the command of the army reasonably considered the possibility of an attack on the warehouses. We were under Rybnitsa until the end of 1992. We have completed the task. The Moldovan military did not dare to take revenge. ”
SUCH DIFFERENT AWARDS
The anti-aircraft gunners of the 14 Army, participants in the Transnistrian war, were awarded Russian state awards. My interlocutor, Yuri K., was awarded the Order “For Personal Courage” in 1993. The graduate of the Borisoglebsk Higher Military Aviation School of Pilots 1984, Vitaly Russu, who bombed the bridge between Bender and Parkan, received his award. The decree awarding him the Order “Stefan cel Mare” (Stefan cel Mare), the highest military award of the Republic of Moldova, was signed on March 6, 2012, on the 20 anniversary of the start of the fratricidal war. As they say, one metal is poured and the medal for the righteous battle, and the order for the destroyed peaceful houses. However, story all already put in their places ...
Who and how 23 of March 2014 destroyed the Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle, one can only guess. In the meantime, Transnistrian authorities are turning to representatives of the guarantor countries in the negotiation process on the Moldovan-Transdniestrian settlement with a request "not to take military-intelligence measures leading to an increase in tension, including on the Transdniestrian-Ukrainian part of the border."