13:34 30.09.2020

Surviving cadet's account of Kharkiv plane crash helps investigators understand what led to tragedy – SBI

2 min read
Surviving cadet's account of Kharkiv plane crash helps investigators understand what led to tragedy – SBI

Testimony of a cadet who survived the plane crash is helping investigators establish the events preceding the tragedy, including the placement of the crew, in order to simplify the procedure for identifying the bodies of the victims, the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) has said.

"First of all, we must take into account the psychological state of this person. Immediately, the necessary investigative actions were carried out with him, the features and details of the event that took place were established. The issues of the crew accommodation were clarified: who was where ... His testimony at the moment is more important in who was sitting where, so that we at least roughly orient ourselves in order to identify the bodies of the dead, as well as to speed up the procedure for transferring bodies to relatives," Yaroslav Lioshenko, SBI investigator, told reporters in Kyiv on Wednesday.

He noted that the testimony of the surviving cadet is of great importance for the investigation.

"He is our main witness," added the head of the department.

Lioshenko said the testimony of this person allowed the investigation to establish the events that preceded the disaster.

"We cannot disclose them at this time," he added.

Maksym Borchakovsky, the head of the Main Investigation Directorate of the State Bureau of Investigations, said that more than 50 people have been interrogated, 26 forensic examinations have been appointed and biological samples have been taken from all victims (relatives) and the dead to identify bodies.

"Some 27 expert examinations were appointed, and five more DNA tests were made," he said.

Borchakovsky also said that in the command of the Air Force, at Kharkiv University and in the military unit, where the flights were also carried out directly, an array of documents regarding the planning, organization and conduct of flights were seized. These documents are analyzed by investigators together with specialists from the Defense Ministry commission.

Speaking about the versions of the plane crash, he noted that there are currently four main ones: technical malfunctions, improper performance of official duties by the crew, flight management and improper repair and maintenance of the aircraft.

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