Leonid mentioned that he was a USSR soldier in Ganja. He then shared his memories from the events of that time.
“We would visit Nagorno-Karabakh on a near-daily basis. By December 1991, we would evacuate the civilians to safe areas. We were three persons in the crew. On my way back to Ganja on February 27, I saw colorful clothes scattered across the mountain slope to the east of Khojaly. While flying downwards, we saw Armenian aggressors shoot civilians survivors to death. Having seen us, they opened fire at the helicopter,” said the pilot.
He said they then arrived in Ganja and informed the authorities.
“We’re subordinate to the Soviet army and we were meant to act upon commandment. However, during the Khojaly events we flew back without waiting for orders. Then, the president’s aide arrived in Ganja and asked to bring some journalist there. We arrived in the scene a few hours after the tragedy committed. Nobody was aware of it in Azerbaijan. Then, we went to the scene with Chingiz Mustafayev and two assistants. We managed to shoot a 10-miniute video. The crew and we had no bulletproof vests. We took off, I saw approaching military vehicles of Armenians and left the scene with the crew,” he said.
Kravets added that they couldn’t shoot the large area due to lack of time. “The general view could have been shot only from the air, the situation was bad. There were so many dead in a large area. There were two police officers with us. One of them found his child shot in the head when probing corpses. We hardly took him into the helicopter as he became mad.”
Kravets noted that he is ready to act as a witness of the Khojaly events in any international court, adding he repeatedly searched other two men of the crew.