Russian pilot: "This is an absurd situation. For thousands of years Russians and Georgians have been living together and now we have war..."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Here's an article from the Independent about one of the Russian pilots that was shot down over Georgia in the recent war between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia (and to a lesser extent Abkhazia). He was just a career pilot that suddenly got called into the current operation on a reconnaissance mission and was shot down. Luckily he's apparently being very well treated and is just hanging out in hospital as he waits to get traded for one (or more) Georgian military personnel. He seems like a really nice guy too.
Major Markovich, who suffered burns to his arms and a spinal injury, had nothing but praise for his captors, who had treated him excellently from the outset. "This is an absurd situation," he said. "For thousands of years Russians and Georgians have been living together and now we have war and innocent people are dying. It was all started by politicians and I don't understand why."

Major Markovich, 42, said he had more than two decades of experience in the Russian air force, but claimed that this was his first mission into a combat zone. Although he was flying a Tupolev 22 bomber, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, he said his mission was to carry out reconnaissance over South Ossetia and Gori.
He said he was questioned by Georgian security agents but not aggressively, and during his time in hospital he has been visited by the Dutch wife of the Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili. "She said there will be peace, and I believe her," he said. "I have only the best things to say about the way I have been treated."

Zaza Sinauridze, the hospital's general director, said: "They spoke with me and told me that if they were taken to a hospital in Russia, they wouldn't get such good treatment." He added that both pilots were now both in a stable condition.


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