Register  Login
..::  » Articles » > » Operation Cerberus - Article by S. Kolomnin ::..

Operation Cerberus - Article by S. Kolomnin
This article published on the Union of Russian Veterans of Angola's page has been written by S. Kolomnin, dedicated to the memory of Soviet military pilots killed in Angola. I have embedded the translated version of the page for your ease of reading... as well as separate links.
Links to the original article

 The memory of Soviet military pilots killed in Angola, it is dedicated to the material 

Stings "Cerberus"  

Please note: As of version of an article published in the journal "Big Brother" in May 2009 , the author made ​​significant changes based memoirs of veterans of Angola, eyewitnesses of those events: Daniyal Gukova, Sergey Antonenko Shurygina Nikolai and Sergei Sergeev (Dzhankoy Squadron in Angola 1984-1985.), Andrey Babayan (USA), Valery planned, Sergei Shkarinenko, Leonid Prudnikov. The article also used the new information reported by veterans of Angola or gleaned from the memoirs of South African soldiers and officers. In particular, the fixed date of the death of the crew of the Soviet Mi-17 AD under Kutonova Menongue - helicopter for combat missions was shot down on December 51985First to name all four of the Soviet military advisers, who died in an airplane An-12, 11,747 board. 

The author is grateful to all the veterans of Angola for any additional information or corrections to the material, based on real facts. Additions or corrections can be directed to the Guest site / main / guestbook for Kolomnin SA or e. mail


Mobile Special Forces Group Sun South Africa (Recces), acting in concert with anti-government rebels of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), launched in the 80 years of the twentieth century, to hunt in the airspace of Angola for "anything that flies." As it became known today, most of the Cuban, Soviet, and owned by the Government of Angola, planes and helicopters were shot down by South Africans is of the so-called special groups «Caçadores», («Hunters" - port.). But at that time the authors of acts of sabotage and terrorist acts were declared "rebels"  UNITA .

 In the years 1984 -1985.     commander of one of these groups was the captain of the South African Special Forces  Andre "Didis" Diederiks . It was he November 25, 1985 ordered the missile launch by the Soviet air defense system aircraft AN-12with registration number 11747. , killing eight crew members and 13 passengers. This operation, the South African Command has assigned the code name "Cerberus." But it was not the first victim Diederiks team in Angola.

 We do not fear anyone. But God

 In   mid-1984 the South African Special Forces leadership is clearly concerned about the scale of the Soviet and Cuban military assistance to Angola and the failure of UNITA stem the tide of government troops, launched as part of a top-secret project D40 to create small sabotage groups and sending them to the Angolan territory. Among the main objectives of saboteurs was mining and undermining of bridges, tunnels, airports. And the destruction of planes and helicopters.

For projects attract the most experienced soldiers of the 5th commando Reconnaissance (Recce) , the personnel of which comprise a majority of blacks. His motto was the words «We Fear Naught But God» («We do not fear anyone but God"). This South African special forces unit was originally designed for special, daring operations associated with the penetration of the enemy's, his staff and other agencies, there where the appearance of a man with fair skin would cause suspicion.

 In 1980 - 1981 years. in South African special forces were reorganized, and Reconnaissance commando were renamed reconnaissance and raiding the shelves (Reconnaissance regiments). changes were made ​​to the structure of the 5th Recce.regiment was divided into five operational groups (Operational Commando), we obtain respectively Codes 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5. first four groups were fighting, and the fifth - training. As a part of this regiment were mostly natives Africans, then elected corresponding slogans into local languages. For Operational Commando 5.1 - «Komesho Nonyati» («Forward with rage"). Operational Commando 5.3 acquired the motto «Pamberi ne Hondo» («Long live the war"), a task force 5.2 chosen English slogan  «Camels don't cry» («Camels Do not Cry").

The author is not familiar motto combat operations group   5.4, but it is known that it was she who  in 1984 became the basis for the formation of the so-called small commando teams  (Small Teams) , which are composed of two - four times, and more people were sent to Angola. Special Forces soldiers, among whom were both black, so people with a European appearance were equipped with captured weapons, including the Soviet air defense system "Strela-1" and MANPADS "Strela-2M."These groups were targeted for destruction "sky swallows" and acted in close cooperation with the departments of UNITA .

  "Catamaran" running the show

 After the start of Activism small sabotage groups5th Reconnaissance regiment in Angola , they were tasked Air Controllers South Africa to bomb attacks on targets in southern Angola . In addition, they should try to prevent the scheduled air services in the areas of Cuito Cuanavale and Menongue . These operations are the South African special forces codenamed " catamaran-1 " and "catamaran-2."     the direct perpetrator was a group of six scouts   , led  by Captain Diederiks . To perform this task, the disposal of the saboteurs had a powerful and effective tool - a captured Soviet complex  SAM 9K31 «Strela-1", mounted on the chassis of the BRDM-2 . The group has taken a position in the area of the river  Zhimbe well camouflaged SAM of vegetation. Protecting the approaches to the position of South African hunters for "Heavenly Swallows" provided a company of soldiers of UNITA.

 South Africans spent almost a month in anticipation: suitable targets in range missiles "Strela-1" for a long time did not appear. But one day the observers reported that the positions approaching aircraft. South Africans have identified it as a small transport "Dornier" (but in reality it was the "Islander" ). After the capture of thermal target seeker operator SAM SergeantHammer Stride team Diederiks produced missile launch. It has successfully emerged from the launch container, reached the plane and exploded in the rear fuselage. He lost control and tumbling in the air, and ran down to the ground. 

 When they reached the place of the crash, the South Africans and their accompanying unitovtsy found that all were in the plane, and they were five soldiers were killed. South Africans have identified them as Cubans, but in fact it was the Angolans. The collision with the ground plane is destroyed, and from the earth tumbled linen bags, tightly packed bundles of paper. This proved banknotes Angolan national bank, non-convertible, alas, Kwanzaa.

  Later, during the search and examination of the bodies of the pilots the aircraft were found financial statements. South Africans understand that knocked "air collector," a plane that was carrying salaries for soldiers and officers - to approximate their estimated several hundred thousand kwanzas. (In fact, according to the memoirs of the Soviet military adviser D. Gukova, the plane was carrying 69 million kwanzas - salaries military MPLA ).

 Now, recall that the Angolan battalion commander advisor of the 16th Infantry Brigades MPLA in Cuito Cuanavale D. Gukov about the case: "In the morning on June 111985 at Cuito Cuanavale came to the "Islander "Chief of Staff of the 6th Military District with the officers. "Islander" departed for a second batch of officers. Second time from Menongue he flew to 13.20 , but to us it is at this day not reached - was shot down. It turned out that the " Islander ", but two of the crew members, flew several officers, including nachfin brigade engineer with the county and a civil engineer by"Aerovit . " Nachfin drove in the team salary for a few months, around 69 million kwanzas . We engineer team before flying toMenongue   agreed that he will bring us a crate of whiskey, but he also ended up in the plane. Sorry for him, he was a good guy. Cubans have found a place to crash80 km from Menongue   a week, all the people were killed, and the plane was burned - he's all out of plywood. June 17   yuarovskoe radio that in our area shot down two aircraft, including probably had in mind the "Islander ".

 According to the memoirs of South Africans, the Angolan money, personal belongings of passengers and pilots, their clothes were ransacked by looters of accompanying the South African Special Forces soldiers of UNITA . The entire episode of the downed aircraft and placer "bank notes" around was captured on camera was one of the South African military. Record they later presented as evidence of his command successful "work" group in Angola . (At the disposal of the Union Veterans of Angola has this unique record of the South African Special Forces, took part in the operation. It really captures the launch, aircraft crash, the search of the crash site and photographed in detail the process of looting unitovtsami "air collector" MPLA ).

 After looting unitovtsy aircraft intended to flee the ambush. It was common practice Angolan guerrillas, who feared that the downed device will look for "elaborate" area with fire from the air or land a force of special forces. But Captain Diederiks stuck right opposition of opinion. He also hoped that the missing plane will look - and thus the chance to attack one or more additional aircraft. He ordered a group of stay,  SAM was moved to another position, and downed "Islander "carefully disguised. Commander of theUNITA was clearly unhappy, but he had to obey the South African officer.

 Assumptions saboteurs soon confirmed.According to the memoirs of South Africans, by the end of the day the observers detected the sound of propellers - it was a helicopter ATP (search and rescue services.) waited until the Mi-8 will go down in the kill zone, Diederiks gave the command sergeant Hammer Stride at launch. She successfully captured the target and exploded near the machine. With the explosion seem to have been directly damaged fuel tanks - a helicopter into a ball of fire and fell to the ground, about500 meters from the position of SAM . In place of his fall immediately there was a great black smoke. This helicopter was the second victim of people Diederiks Angola .

 The last flight of 747

 The next "visit" subversive groups Diederiks to Angola came at the end of 1985 . Just as in November 1985, and was hit by a Soviet military transport aircraft An-12, flying the flag of " Aeroflot ". According to official figures in this tragedy lishilisya life  21people. South Africans argued that "the dead were 28 , of which  11 Russian advisers. "

 Downed Soviet An-12 was part of the squadron's Chief Military Adviser in Angola. This formation is a kind of gift to the Minister of Defense of the USSR Minister of Defence of Angola . Although subordinate to the Soviet aircraft " geveesu ", they were a major" strike force "transport aircraft of the People's Republic of Angola in the 80 years of the twentieth century. Up until the late 80's of the XX century in Angola as part of the squadronhot water   was up to six transport   An-12 and four Il-76 , which provides transportation of cargo and personnel in the interests of Soviet military experts, troops MPLA and Cubans. And although "Antonovs" and "Ilyushin" were part of the Soviet military-transport aircraft, but flew to Angolaunder the banner of " Aeroflot ".

 The flight to Angola   for the crew of An-12 , tail number 11747   from the   369th Regiment BTA Soviet Air Force (paragraph permanent home - Dzhankoy) was the most common. Captain, crew commander Sergei Lukyanov , however, the first time performed solo at Cuito Cuanavale , but it was an experienced pilot, up to this point has made ​​several flights with an instructor on the route Luanda Lubango-Cuito Cuanavale-Menongue . And then back to Luanda . Our pilots were taken everything: soldiers and officers MPLA , the Cubans. And alive, and wounded and killed.Brought to the remotest corners of the vast country's food, medicine and humanitarian assistance, spare parts. Soviet military advisors and specialists are also mostly "travel" around the country sides Squadron DHW . After the disaster in1982 in Lubango AN-26 Air Force of Angola , MDM in the deaths of several Soviet military and civilians, were forbidden to fly our Angolan and Cuban planes. This ban, however, is often violated - in the Angolan civil war, and to get from point "A" to point "B" can be relatively safe only by air.

 Soviet pilots Squadron drove ordinary Angolans and their belongings uncomplicated lucky enough to get on the flight of the Soviet " Aeroflot". Sometimes, the transport compartment "Antonov "clog the eyeballs with some bags, bales, boxes ... Weight Rating is often made ​​on the eye - no weigh-in combat was conducted.Ensuring safety is a relevant Angolan service. But - it is conditional. The only thing that managed to achieve - all armed passengers were obliged to give up their "trunks" crew. And got them after landing.

 Of course, our planes were taken and the weapons and military equipment and ammunition - a country at war. But that day,November 25, 1985 no weapons on board was not. The aircraft is loaded two faulty tank engine, in Cuito Cuanavale repair them was not possible. The crew took the time: today was planned two flights. After returning to Luanda - flight again. Busy day. At 10.45 the plane landed in Cuito Cuanavale.   At 11.20 it took off and headed for  Luanda . On board, except for crew of seven pilots and onboard interpreter were four Soviet military advisers and nine Angolan troops flying to Luanda on business. Total - 21 people.

 When approaching Menongue in 43 kmthe airfield crew reported that one of the engines caught fire. "Turns Four" - reported to the commander. "The fourth turned off." "The third light is lit the third! ..." "The third turned ... Easy, guys, hold on. We go toMenongue "- Captain Sergei Lukyanov decided to hang on to the airfield and to make an emergency landing. However, after47 seconds   after the defeat of the rocket engine, the aircraft broke down the wing, he has run for nearly 2 minutes fell like "leaf" and collided with the ground ...

 "Cerberus" - a creature biting ...

 This operation was carried out between 11 October 1985 and 3 December 1985, the South African Command assigned the code name " Cerberus "(in Greek mythology - a huge three-headed dog with a serpent's tail). Saboteurs few weeks were in ambush. Almost at the same place, near the river Zhimbe where a few months ago, they destroyed " Islander "and Mi-8 helicopter . South Africans once again turned to the already proved its Soviet air defense system "Strela-1" on the BRDM-2 chassis. As the days passed, and the right time to launch the missile did not appear. And now it is morning November 25, 1985 ...

 That happened on this day,  Andre Diederiks recalls this: "It was morning, and we had just finished our prayer. All went to their positions, and we were left with our doctor to make coffee. The sky was absolutely bezoblachnym.Kofe have not had time to cook, we heard the sound of motors unmistakably recognizable Russian transport aircraft An-12 . The plane was coming fromCuito Cuanavale . We are ready. Soon saw the plane. He was at a low altitude, and we quickly realized that it was within the reach of SAMs . Christy Smith , our official photographer, ready to shoot missile launch. Once Hammer Stride (operator SAM - S.K .) reported that the rocket captured purpose, I gave the order to start. Missile hit one of the engines on the left wing, the one closest to the fuselage. At first it seemed that the entrance did not affect the flight of " Antonov ", but after a few seconds seemed a plume of smoke and the plane changed course. I watched the falling transporter with binoculars. I've seen almost to the ground plane turned and disappeared into the trees. The next moment, we saw a huge cloud of black smoke shot up into the sky. " Antonov "was destroyed completely. We quickly turned and headed to the base. "

 Angolan veteran Andrew Babayan , who was then in Angola, recalled: "On that tragic day 25 November 1985 , I remember that it was a Monday, I had a duty to intercede for our military mission. One of the major responsibilities of the duty was to prepare the data for political information that we "remove" from the radio. Before the news broadcast " Beacon "I auditioned and trained Angolan news. The day ANGOP nothing about the downed aircraft, as well as " lighthouse "on the evening news. But I remember well that after midnight "enemy" vote, first Air Force in Portuguese, and then " Voice of America ", and reported that in the province of Cuando Cubango rebel UNITA had another successful operation: Cuban downed transport plane AN-12 .

I did not believe that the news, knowing what sort of "accurate" information to these agencies passed. We all knew well that it could not be a Cuban An-12, the Cubans were flying AN-26. early morning of November 26 , I again heard the news "Lighthouse "- still nothing, but at 9 am ANGOP passed the terrible news about that the aircraft was shot down by the AN-12with military MPLA on board, but nothing more specific was said. In the evening of "Lighthouse" conveyed the same news, but this time, indicating that shot down a military transport aircraft the Air Force of Angola . And there is nothing about our people!Not a word about the crew or advisers - in short, we were there, in Angola , then sort of like did not exist! ".

 Rescue operation: back dead

 Once your connection with the crew of the An-12 , was a task as soon as possible to go to the site of the crash to rescue possible survivors: the living and the injured, to prevent looting by unitovtsev who roamed in the area. In addition, it was necessary to get to the "black boxes" crashed aircraft. Angolan command of the 6th Military District dispatched its fall AN-12group range reconnaissance Intelligence district. But to get close to the aircraft, it could not: unitovtsami sweep area, and approaches have been mined. When you try to make a lane through minefields, scouts lost from a mine one fighter.

Then our advisers asked the Cubans to organize the protection of the fall of An-12. At the request of the Chief Military Adviser inAngola Cuba's command began to prepare a special military operation. The convoy, which started in the area of impact of the nomination of An-12 , were the Cuban Tank Company, a unit of sappers. Convoy was ambushed, head tank hit a mine.According to the memoirs of our military advisers in the fighting were killed and wounded ten Cuban soldiers, including commander died Cuban tank company. Cubans asked avipodderzhku. But, as he recalled veteran Angolan Leonid Prudnikov , "at the airport in Menongue Cuban aircraft in November and December was not. At that time there were only two Angolan helicopter Mi-17 . But with Soviet crews. " Here we must make a slight digression. You reading this should know these our helicopter pilots were in Angola to perform combat missions, not to attack the enemy positions, evacuate the wounded, delivering ammunition surrounded brigade etc. All of them are sent to the country not to fight, but to train Angolans. To implement instructional flights, practical assistance in completing the piloting Angolan pilot, maintenance and operation of helicopters Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-25 (Mi-24).

But while the Angolans were few pilots capable of carrying out combat missions, and the Angolan side has persistently requested our help. They never denied these requests.Although formally had every reason not to risk their zhiznyami.Odin of them - Yuri Majewskirecalled, "I was still captain, was in Angola from January 1984 to December 1986 as a specialist in the flight commander helicopters Mi-24 (export version of the Mi- 25). Ours, that is, of course, the Angolan squadron, but we ourselves are not separated from them, was based at the time in the city of Luena, Moxico Province . We, the professionals working pilots in the squadron, were four major Peschenko Michael, a specialist at the squadron commander, I, Captain Peter Chuikov pilot-operator and Alexander Degtyar, borttehnika instructor. "  InMajewski and his friends at that moment inMenongue were also pilot instructor Dmitry Couthon and Yuri Neverov, who served in Angoladuties navigator instructor . According to the memoirs of our advisors crews headed by Dmitry Kutonova and Yuri Majewskicollected all over the country with the objective to deliver to the site of the crash of the Moscow Commission. But the crash of the Soviet An-12 still had to discourage unitovtsev ... and it was clear that just like that, without a fight, they did not give up.

 Of these "walks" quickly turns gray hair

 And up to this point crews D. Kutonova and J. Majewski , other helicopter pilots who worked in Angola , often had to engage in combat. Here is evidence that in fact did in Angola, our helicopter, which is required, under the contract, it was just a training Angolans and maintenance of aircraft in good condition. Neverov Yuri wrote from Angola   to his friend  Vladimir Prohodtsevusuch poignant lines: " I fly the Mi- 8 , has already spread all over the south. Three times visited the warring gangs. First time lucky general. Arrived, and he said: "Not the team, come forward at 6 km . " Flew over the front line to6 km , began to turn back and then trails on all sides from a large nose. Rain was on the benefit 550 metersAnd we went to 500 meters , and it survived.Got into the team and then a mortar attack. All in holes under the APC climb, rattle as in war. Sat for 15 minutes, loaded the wounded and flew away. "

 Often, when the Angolan team fell in the environment, it is our helicopter pilots command sets the task of evacuating the Soviet military advisers and wounded. Yuri Neverov recalled in a letter to comrades and the following episode: "Yuarovskie troops surrounded the three Angolan team, there were 27 of ours, so we were taken, and their two flights. South Africans have established SAM brigades around and took them into a triangle. A supply Angolan brigades was only possible by helicopter.With200 meters of dumped food and ammunition. Shot down four helicopters Mi-24 and two Mi-8, and two aircraft MiG-23.Here we are in the thick of it flew twice.

I will not write, as we were digging, he imagine. I will say one thing, at extremely low altitude flying 142 kmbroken route through the SAM on the map 10 kilometrovke , and came out exactly. I still can not believe it - got off the 15th shell-holes . Passed over yuarovskimi trenches at an altitude of 5 -10 meters. I soon of these "walks" hair posedeyut. All these missions were 6 . The remaining flights to transport food and ammunition. They took the wounded - it's finish. People without legs, arms, and not even utter a word, one side took off with the edges on the insides of dried blood, he did not moan. Hardy devils. "

 I think that after reading these lines, written in Angola killed our pilot, no one would think that the trip to Angola were hateful walk through Africa . For the exotic and a high income. In Angola were real fighting. And Soviet people involved in them.Unfortunately, from these "walks" not just saddles hair ...

 "We were knocked out!"

 Immediately after receiving the information about the disaster An-12 , an urgent visit to Angola deputy commander of the Soviet Air Force general BTA MP Stutterer.  At that time, the command of the Soviet military mission and the leadership of the USSR General Staff had no accurate data about what the board shot down from the ground, to consider other versions crash.Therefore M. Stutterer had to figure out to find the "black box" recorders bots, other evidence. Recalls veteran Angolan Leonid Prudnikov : " The Mi-17 with our crews arrived at the airport in Menongue delivery arrived from the Soviet Union to the crash site of General An-12. originally planned that General M. Stutterer was to follow in the area of impact in the Cuban column.Then plans changed, as it was of the so-called "sekretonositelyam" and should not be captured under any circumstances (which is ruled out in those conditions, it was impossible).

Cubans had to get into the area of impact of the AN-12, cordoned off the area and ensure the landing of helicopters. But when their convoy came upon an ambush, and they asked for air support and other aircraft, except 2 helicopter was not simple. Of course, the Mi-17 is not designed for ground attack, but the other way at the time was not. After all, the Cubans were ambushed by performing our request! Another thing is that in the planning of the operation should have been foreseen in advance umbrella. Which, unfortunately, was not done. Turned out as always, someone had to correct the mistakes of others at the cost of his life. "

... morning, December 5, 1985   in the area of impact of the An-12 flew a couple of helicopters Mi-17 with Soviet crews.Leading a crew of Dmitry Kutonova, George and Alexander Neverov Degtyar . The second helicopter was piloted by Commander Yuri Majewski, right pilot Valery Ryabov and onboard technician Michael sugars. At ground attack positions unitovtsev one of the helicopters was shot down. Crew Dmitry Kutonova died. Also died two Angolan soldiers who were on board. The second helicopter, piloted by Yuri Majewski does not able to help them. Flames machine Kutonova and his companions fell to the ground and exploded a grenade from an RPG , released unitovskim rebel, pierced the fuel tank Mi-17.

That's what recalls veteran Angolan Valery plans , participating in radioobespechenii those flights. "Being on the flight control ( UPC-11 ), I was an unwitting witness to the death of the crew of the Mi-17 under Menongue. I was tasked to turn the radio and monitor radio traffic crews. On the ground, we checked the radio with the crew (their call sign, unfortunately faded from memory), including the means of objective control MN-61. Minutes 30-40 on the air there was silence, and then one side was the second request - he did not answer. This lasted for 5-10 minutes . I asked the crew, the answer was: "They shot down ...".The flight, Cuban, began to call their own. After planting, the second crew, Commander said that leading first helicopter D.Couthon after first entering combat decided to see what worked, and gave the team its second cover ....

The same day, the Cubans sent their MiG-21 , which was also brought down in the same area. Pilot-Cuban bailed out, managed to escape, while hiding in a tree, smeared with charcoal (Cuban was Caucasian - S.K). A day later he went to his. So said Cuban officers. " Judging from the captain Diederiks , his team has not had to do with Cuba downed aircraft - most likely, as in the case of a helicopter D. Kutonova acted a division of UNITA.

These words were confirmed by  veteran Angolan Sergey Kononov , who remembers the case: "Our helicopters worked two beads on ground targets. The pilots agreed that the "work" once. Entered, fired a volley "Nursi."Leading the first approach saw the missiles went off target. Slave is fulfilled exactly. They were said to have triggered the excitement, and the pilots decided to make a second run. Spotted the target and decided to suppress it for sure. But they are shot down. Burned all three. Pulled out a few days. "

According to  Angola's veteran Sergey Antonenko , they were looking forward to the return of the crew. But "the crew returned within one commander Yuri Majewski, right, pilot Valery Ryabov , we had served in the Far East in the 319th AFP them. VI Lenin , and the third, I think, was the onboard technician Michael Sakharov . At Majewski had no face, this strong, reliable, courageous man passed by this timeAfgan , it was difficult to know. From the words of Valery Ryabov all happened in front of them. Did pass, looking for the pilot of the downed Cuban MiG-23 on the way back noticed worked goal when flying back requestedKutonova , he said, making another run. Turned on him. Couthon jumped, worked on the purpose, began to unfold.  Ryabovsaw the helicopter Kutonova with a roll out of the trees behind them, after 3-5 seconds shot up a column of black smoke. To get closer to them did not give a heavy fire from small arms. Retell the story with the words of Valery Ryabov . Of course, more detail can tell Yuri Majewski , it was his eyes. The victim was able to pick up the crew about a week. "

 The fuselage was like a sieve ...

 Cubans actually took a few days to get through with fights to the crash site of An-12 and Mi-17 .Going to the "point", they found that both the crew and all the passengers were killed. Participants noted the rescue unusual damage fuselage AN-12 , "some of the fuselage were like a sieve, everywhere there were round holes of different sizes, like - hot awl into the oil." The remains of the pilots and the Soviet advisers were brought inMenongue , then shipped to Luanda and in zinc coffins evacuated to Soviet aircraft  An-12 .

That's what the chief recalled due 2nd Regiment squadron Djankoiskiy Sergey Sergeyev , who took part in the evacuation of the remains of our dead pilots and passengers. "In Menongue we brought the crew B. Pakhomov . All do not remember, but the senior was  N. Razin A. Andryukov , was still head of the special department by name and patronymic , Nikolai Romanovich (can not remember name). Of Menongue by two helicopters we flew to the accident site. Dropped us off about two kilometers, as closer prevented mestnost.Mesto disaster guarded Angolans, they also collected all the remains and put on the bags. My task was to find a means of objective control. The crew was transporting two tank engine and several passengers. In a collision with the ground plane engines fell container MS-61(tape recorder - SK) and heavily damaged it. INEM (the system of magnetic recording flight data - SK) was badly burned, but the container is intact. Since the crash were taken fragments covering. I noticed that the propeller blades were like burnt. How could to explain to the witness, in his gestures, I realized that the aircraft fired two missiles, and the aircraft fell like a leaf. "

But Oleg Belomestnykh , group chief objective control Djankoiskiy Squadron in Angola, studied records from the crash recorders, denies the story of the two rockets. He recalls: "The plane took off from Quito - Cuanavale , climbed  5000 -5100 m  Deviations rudders was not: a normal flight. The missile fell into the battery compartment. At MSRP this is reflected in a vertical overload 1.2G-1.3g . Rocket engine and grazed the right side. After that, a short-circuit. Fire. Assistant to the commander, wasLech Nikitin , before he flew to Koneevym Vietnam . There, they had a serious accident, "spread" the plane in Siem Reap (Kombodzha) , flew from the strip and caught fire. Lech managed to jump through the window, and even pulled his jacket Shevret, because it was necessary to take it to the warehouse. After the accident, he said: "Well, now I'm on the plane never die." But this warning was "up" Alex died in Angola ... ".  

 Incidentally C. Sergeyev   says that while much discussed version of the aircraft AN-12 was shot down by South African SAM "Cactus." "The intensity of our pilots flying time in Angola and large, it was decided to replace the crews. Flew Kokov, Andryukov, Zolotukhin I do. one day before we flew this aircraft on the same route. And we were approached by the head of operations with the UPC in Cuito Cuanavale and asked if we fly at night? I do not remember exactly, but he said that, it seems, the night saw the plane by signs similar to the An-12 . Only then came to us intelligence chief of the mission, and said that was found abandoned rocket launcher "Cactus", perhaps it was thrown from the plane. The shells explode in this setting goals, which is why on the fragments of the fuselage, apparently, were the traces of ... ".

Angolan veteran Nikolai Shurygin recalled that "from the crash site in Union brought the flap and one blade propeller downed aircraft. They then showed to the whole regiment. After a 20 -60 cm  well visible hardened holes around 15 mm . We were told that they knocked out SAM "Cactus" , based on a 4-wheel chassis. And that empty unit found in the jungle near the crash site. "However, neither the South African source, in any book of memoirs, and them in South Africapublished a lot, is not mentioned in the application is the period in Angola of "Cactus."And you know that special forces Recces neverSAM "Cactus" in Angola did not use . And, supposedly, abandoned setting so no one has found it. But, of course, this version has the right to life ...

 Six killed in Angola, crew members of the An-12 Commander Captain Sergei Lukyanov, Lieutenant Alexei Nikitin, Captain Vladimir Zhurkin Lt. Victor Osadchuk, Ensign and Ensign Grishenko Sergei Vladimir Shibanov were buried in the cemetery in Dzhankoy . Later there was a monument, memorial. The seventh member of the crew   , Lieutenant Vitaly Pshenyuk   was buried at home in the Volyn region, Ukraine . In Dzhankoy Regiment in 1983-1984, he came out with "citizen." At the school, where he studied Vitali, a memorial plaque. Bortperevodchik crew, cadet VKIMO Sergei sholmo   was buried in his native city of Ulyanovsk. His name today is a street and secondary school number 13 in Zasviyazhsky area , the Ulyanovsk . Burned helicopter Mi-17 Dmitry Couthon, Yuri and Alexander Neverov Degtyar were buried in his homeland. Among the passengers killed An-12 was four Soviet military advisers , and not 11 , as indicated by the South African sources. This is Colonel Eugene Candidates Colonel Alexander Martynov, Michael Zhirnosek and Anatoly perevertite.

 Diederiks, nicknamed "Didis"

  But what about the people, the saboteur, who ordered the rocket firing on the plane with the logo of the civil campaign " Aeroflot "? The same South African Special Forces captain  Andre Diederiks , nicknamed " Didis "? What happened to him? We know that he continued to serve in the Special Forces and was promoted to colonel.After the operation, " Cerberus ", he has participated in many sabotage actions abroad in Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe . Operated successfully. Has been awarded. Not once. Accumulated a lot of experience saboteur and spy, which was appreciated. From 1988 to 1991, Colonel Diederiks passed his youth, as chief of the South African Schools Special Forces (Special Forces School) in Durban. then retired. He worked in the field of private security. died in 2005. From cancer.

 Sorry if Andre Diderikas   that the  November 25, 1985 issued an order to destroy the cargo aircraft "Aeroflot" in Angola , the disaster which by its own admission, "killed 28 people, including 11 Russian advisers "? We do not know. But, judging by his track record - no commando tormented by remorse. He was a professional. But, on the other hand, while in Angola , he was well aware that downed the An-12 belonged to the Soviet Union and was flying under the flag of " Aeroflot "! This is clear from his memoirs.

 And the Soviet Union and South Africa are not in a state of war! Why a special forces captain South Africa coolly ordered the destruction of the aircraft, owned by another power, and that all formal criteria are civilian aircraft? Foresee objections: that all costs of "cold war", the confrontation between the two political systems, etc.

 But let's imagine that in the same 1985 a subversive group of unknown nationality knocks over the territory of South Africa South African missile from land transport plane. Flying, for example, on the route Johannesburg - Windhoek (Namibia) - Rundu (military base in South Africa, Namibia). Civil aircraft. On board, even without weapons, and, say, the property of "dual-use": the uniforms, fuel, spare parts, etc. And all this "farm" is for special forces units of the Army of South Africa, secretly operating in the territory of a sovereign state and Angola parts of an anti-government group UNITA (insurgents, guerrillas, "freedom fighters", if you will), which helps South Africa. 

 I can imagine what the noise raised the South African government and the South African press! And how would they called subversives "who shot down a civilian plane and killed the pilots and passengers the peace flight", flying in Rundu, the military base the South African army in Namibia? Territory, by the way, while South Africa illegally occupied. The answer is obvious: criminals, terrorists, criminals. This synonymic series can continue themselves. At this could end. If this imaginary diversion in South Africa would be one of those "wild imagination" of the author. But this is not fantasy.

 And if there was an order?

 Beginning in 1984 , in Angola, a large group of special forces commandos Soviet KGB "Vympel" , which was created for special assignments abroad. Soviet leaders, the KGB knew that in a "cold war" please have the unit ready, if necessary, to begin active operations behind enemy lines. The task - to be ready well "make some noise." Put the enemy in such conditions that he understood any of his step, any provocation, sabotage always find an adequate response. And not only in Europe and America. But also in Africa and Asia. Representatives of the " Vympel "acted in many countries of the" third world "- Angola, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Mozambique, as well as Cyprus and Malta.

 Employees of " Vympel "worked in Angola as advisers. Angolans have helped create a special unit to combat gang violence.But at the same time work and "over", practicing methods and techniques in action, "African reality." Pondered goals, choose the objects of possible action against the enemy, have studied possible operations (both training and combat) and the means to implement them. Including in neighboring Angola, countries. For some years after Angola "passed" several dozen employees " Vympel ". Among them, A. Mikhailenko, P. Suslov, V. Kikot, K. Sivov, V. Ukolov, Yu Penkov, V. Smyslov, A. Yevglevsky and head group « Zenit »in the assault Amin's palace in Afghanistan I. Semenov.

 Employee " Vympel " Peter Suslov and his friends for a few years, literally created from scratch in Angola Special Operations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Angola. For his bravery and nobility of Angolans gave him «nome de guerra» (war name) - «Valente» (Brave). He worked in the country for about four years. During this time, dozens of special forces and prepared immediately, "accompanied by" several major operations against subversive groups of South African special forces  Recces and 32 Battalion "Buffalo." But most importantly - AP Suslov and his colleagues have created in Angola system. Laid the foundation. Highly qualified special forces base.

 I asked Peter Paton Suslov question: Could he and his men, who worked in Angola , in the case of receiving the order "adequate" to respond to acts of sabotage against the South African Special Forces crew of Soviet aircraft and vessels inAngola ? He pondered. And then the answer.  "Our special forces had not fought in southern Africa. Those stories that compose some unscrupulous people about our "hiking in the jungle of Angola and Namibia sands" - is downright nonsense.We did not go to spetsreydy to Angola and Namibia . And the combat deaths there we did not have. But we were ready. And really could perform such a task in response to the damage done to our fellow citizens and our property in Angola. But such an order has been received. Order on the use of human "Vympel" abroad then could only give President KGB. And only in writing.Would order - would act accordingly. "Yeah, maybe people" Vympel "in Angola enough to respond adequately to the "attacks" against our compatriots. And not only in Angola, but also in Namibia and South Africa . And hardly Diederiks and his men would have acted in Angola with the same degree of freedom, and continued to shoot down "Heavenly Swallows" if you knew that the sights could be their own planes and ships to South Africa . And in response to each diversion in Angola could easily get the wreckage of South African  "Hercules" or "Transaalya"   somewhere near Johannesburg or Pretoria . Destroyed as ruthlessly and in cold blood, as commandos South Africa destroyed  in November 1985, the Soviet An-12 aircraft flying under the flag of " Aeroflot ". But that such an order was not ...

 People should know the truth!

 In this, perhaps, would be to conclude this story. And so was the end of articles, conceived by me and published in the journal "Big Brother" in May 2009. However, in early November 2010 in my editorial in the journal number "Benchmarks" rang from Ulyanovsk. Called widow of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Martynov , flying so unfortunate 747th board . But find me, she left a message on the answering machine. Later, listening to him, I could not collect my thoughts and strength to call back Galina - so emotional and sorrowful was its message. I realized that I could not help it become a source of the burst of emotions and memories of the beloved husband, father of her children, who died in a remote African country ...

  But, here's to the New Year 2011, yet rallied and called in Ulyanovsk. Thanks for the kind words and apologized, as able, and asked permission to publish the text recorded on my answering machine. Courtesy of Galina doing it.

" Sergey , hello! Are you concerned about Martynov Galina   of Ulyanovsk, the widow of Colonel Martynov, who died Nov. 251985the plane An-12 shot down by Menongue . I only recently found out about your article and read it. I am very grateful, because for the last twenty five years, I almost did not know any details about the death of my husband. Now, after what I've read this stuff in my soul left a void, all of these twenty-five years I've been waiting, hoping, it seemed to me that her husband will return, and the children did meet with his father ... Thank you and for what you wrote, it is very correct, if in such circumstances, the South African plane was shot down and injured to their citizens, in South Africa would have raised such a howl!

But why  the Soviet Union then even said a word about that in Angola, killing people? There also flew our citizens, our advisors are our state sent to perform in Angola your debt? No one else said that? This is a very sad and bitter ...

Painfully aware that the life I have lived with my husband was so short, and the children did not meet his father, grew up without him ... Your article again reopen old wounds, but thank you for what you wrote. People should know the truth. "

 What to add to these bitter words, this cry from the heart of man, 25 years ago, lost in Angola your favorite? No words of consolation to his wife did not make up for the loss of her husband and children - father. I can only say that my duty Alexander Martynov and his colleagues have done. Until the end ... They no one, and nothing to reproach. But there is nothing to reproach our state. Right Galina : nobody in the Soviet Union made ​​no statement, warnings, no one has taken the appropriate steps regarding public downed Soviet An-12 in the far Angola . No one gave the order to Peter Suslov and his comrades. Only in one of the Soviet newspapers were very brief note that in the Angolan province of Cuando Cubango "shot down a military transport aircraft the Air Force of Angola" ...

 The author thanks Sergey Karamaeva for their help in the preparation of the material.

 Sergey Lukyanov - Commander of the An-12 crew shot down on November 25, 1985 in Angola

Sergey Lukyanov - Commander of the An-12 crew shot down on November 25, 1985 in Angola

 The last seconds talks crew An-12, tail number CCCP-11747 ... (Listen to audio)


Martynov Alexander, born in 1950, a lieutenant colonel, commander of a battalion advisor FAPLA Brigade 25, died in Angola in the performance of international duty November 25, 1985. He was buried in the Central Cemetery of Ulyanovsk.Archive photo of the family.

Martynov Alexander P.

Martynov said Galina, widow of Colonel Martynov ... (Listen to audio)

Major Couthon DF Born March 25, 1953 in the village area Veselovka Fedorovsky BASSR. In 1973 he graduated from the Saratov Higher Aviation School. After the end of the school was the position of pilot - instructor. In 1983, he graduated from Syzran VVAUL and received his pilot - engineer. He made ​​343 parachute jumps. Died (was hit) December 5, 1985 in the Republic of Angola. Awarded with the "Red Star" posthumously. (Photo from )

© Union of Veterans of Angola 2011 All rights reserved. Materials may be used only with permission of NEA. With reference to the CBA is required.

Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET


@ 2007 War In Angola - Veridical Solutions