The sole survivor of the downed Russian Su-24M Fencer jet says the Turkish jets did not issue any visual or radio warnings before shooting down the warplane.
“There was no warning, not by radio exchange nor visually. There was no contact at all,” said Konstantin Murakhtin, the surviving pilot of the doomed jet, speaking to Russian journalists on Wednesday at Moscow’s base in Syria after being rescued by Russian special forces and Syrian troops.
The remarks made by the Russian pilot are in contrast to those of the Turkish government that claimed its F-16 warplanes had issued warnings before shooting down the aircraft.
The Turkish military has released what it claims to be an audio recording of repeated warnings to the Russian jet before it was shot down.
I ordered them to shoot, says Mr. Premier
Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that he himself had given the order to destroy the Russian jet.
“Despite all the warnings, we had had to destroy the aircraft. The Turkish Armed Forces carried out orders given by me personally,” said Davutoglu, speaking to a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party, the Canadian ThinkPol news website reported.
Earlier in the day, Shamsail Saraliev of the ruling United Russia party who represents Chechnya in the State Duma − the lower house – tweeted that Russia should destroy the perpetrators of the “cowardly” attack.
“To start with, as a minimum, it is necessary to establish the identity of the Turkish pilots responsible for the cowardly attack on our aircraft and those who gave them orders, and destroy them,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
On Tuesday morning, NATO member Turkey shot down the Russian fighter jet with two pilots aboard, claiming that the warplane had repeatedly violated its airspace.
However, Russia denies all of Ankara’s claims, maintaining that the jet was downed in Syrian airspace where Russia has been carrying out operations against the Daesh Takfiri terrorists since September 30 upon a request by the Damascus government.
Based on radar imaging from Russia’s Hmeymim airbase, the Turkish jet actually violated Syrian airspace to attack the Russian jet.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had earlier said that the downing of the Russian plane would have “serious consequences” for Moscow-Ankara ties.