Tuesday 26 September 2023

Erwin ‘Caesar’ Clausen -6./JG 77 - ebay photo find #364


 Photos of JG 77 ace Erwin Clausen are comparatively rare - a large achive of JG 77 images gifted to this blog feature only a couple of this pilot. So a recent ebay find - a couple of which apparently depict Clausen's return with his 100th  - are of interest. (thanks Sinisa for the heads-up). 

Born on 5 August 1911 in Berlin, Erwin ‘Caesar’ Clausen joined the Reichsmarine (German Navy) in 1931, transferring to the Luftwaffe in 1935 where he received flight training as an Unteroffizier. When the war commenced Clausen flew in I.(Jagd) Gruppe of LG 2 under the command of Major Hans Trübenbach and filed his first claim on 9 September 1939 downing a Polish biplane. In France during the latter half of the Westfeldzug the Gruppe was stationed at Ferme Montecouvez, approx 15 kms south of Cambrai. Here I.(J)/LG 2 provided fighter escort for German transports resupplying the 4th Army in the vicinity of Cambrai. On 25 May Clausen would claim his second Abschuss, an Armée de l’air Potez 63, however his Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4B, W.Nr. 5804, also received damage, resulting in a belly-landing near Cambrai (sustaining 75% damage). During the Battle of Britain flying fighter sweeps and ground attack missions he added just one more victory, a Spitfire on 23 September. Close to a month later, on 20 October Clausen’s Bf 109 was badly shot up over England by a Spitfire. He was able to limp back over the Channel for a forced-landing.

On the launch of Barbarossa I.(J)/LG 2 with some 40 Emils on strength was subordinated to JG 77 on the southern sector. Oblt. Clausen was CO of 1.(J)/LG 2 - Strakeljahn and Tismar led 2. and 3. Staffel respectively. He claimed two I-153 downed on 2 July. He was at Jassy, Romania on 15 July for the visit of King Mihail. I./LG 2 claimed 15 victories (six for Clausen) defending the oilfields from Soviet bombers during the interlude replacing III./JG 52 in this theatre. I./LG 2 returned to the 'front' in early October departing Romania for Mariupol. In early 1942 I./LG 2 was re-designated I./JG 77 (with the 'original' I./JG 77 being incorporated into JG 5). On 9 March Clausen claimed five for one of his his best days, reaching some 47 victories. A few months later - I./JG 77 departing the Eastern Front for the Mediterranean- Clausen was posted to II./JG 77 on the central sector of the Eastern Front.

Below;  Bf 109 F-4 'white 1' flown by Oblt. Erwin Clausen as Stkp. 1./JG 77. The rudder scoreboard shows 57 victories, the 57th being a claim for an I-16 on or around 14 June 1942..

During July 1942 as StaKa 6./JG 77 he was one of the leading 'scorers' in the Geschwader claiming some 43 victories for the month. During late September he was at Rastenburg to receive the Eichenlaub, having passed 100 victories during late August/early September.  Towards the end of the year he was replaced as StaKa by Lt. Johan Badum after falling ill with malaria. In February 1943 he was posted to EJG Süd and in June 1943 was named Kommandeur of I./JG 11. He was KIA on 4 October 1943 attacking USAF bombers near Borkum. Variously credited with as many as 132 victories although Matthews/Foreman located only one hundred claims on the microfilms. His awards included the DK (25 May 1942), RK (22 May 1942) and Oakleaves (23 July 1942). The image below may or may not show the celebrations for Clausen's 100th...

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Lt. Helmut Biederbick 7./JG 54 - ebay photo find #363

Photos of Lt. Helmut Biederbick posing for snapshots on his 7./JG 54 Friedrich have appeared in a number of publications including "Luftwaffe Fighters -Combat on all Fronts " Vol I and Philippe Saintes two-volume history of JG 54 published by Lela Presse.  These show him taking a snooze under the wing of his Bf 109 F-2 ‘white 5’ some time during the summer of 1941 and posing with his 1.Wart (first mechanic) on his 7./JG 54 Bf 109 F-4 ‘white 7’. This 'new' Ebay find shows us that it was 'white 5' that featured the inscription ‘Kabänes’. 

Leutnant Biederbick returned 14 victories with JG 54. He returned his first victory, an SB-2 on 23 June, 1941, the second day of Barbarossa. On July 6, 1941 flying ‘white 11’ he collided with ‘white 3’ flown by Uffz. Theodor Steinwendtner during a hard fight with SB-2s of 41 SAD. Both pilots were able to jump clear. Biederbick downed two Soviet aircraft on July 10, 1941; an SB-3 and an I-18 and scored two Soviet P-40s on July 19, 1942. 

He moved back to the West in October 1942, posted to IV./JG 1. He served as an instructor from December 1942. He flew as Staffelführer with 2./JG 1 from February to June 1944. His 15th victory was a B-24 (HSS) on April 8, 1944. His 16th was a P-51 five km north-west of Klötze on April 8, 1944. His 17th was a B-17 (HSS) on April 13, 1944, no location. On April 22, 1944 he downed a B-17 west of Rothaargebirge. He moved to JG 101 in July 1944. 

In February 1945 he was appointed Staffel kapitän of 5./JG 101 in February 1945 and survived the war credited with 19 victories. He died on January 10, 1996.

Monday 11 September 2023

III./JG 77 in the defence of Ploesti, Mizil, July 1944

There have been a number of accounts of the air battles for Romanian oil from the establishment of JG 4 to 'Tidal Wave' in August 1943 to the combats of April-July 1944 fought by JG 77 and JG 52 to the Russian arrival in Bucharest in August 1944. Aside of course from the JG 77 history by Jochen Prien none of them provide any detail from the German side. There is one other good source  on these air battles - La chasse de jour allemande en Roumanie (Day fighters of the Luftwaffe in Romania) authored by Jean-Louis Roba is a slim soft-back and 25 years old but it is packed with first-person accounts and rare images..such as the photo here, recently offered on ebay;

Pilots of 8./JG 77, Mizil, Romania, spring 1944. The ace Uffz. Karl-Heinz ‘Pummel' Böttner is in the middle (fourth from the right). Second right is Uffz. Jürgen Kilian.

below; Erich Sommavilla flew with III./JG 77 in Mizil during July 1944

July 22, 1944 saw a repeat of the attack of the week before with approximately four hundred and fifty bombers launched. Four B-24s and one HSS were claimed by III./JG 77 as well as two P-38s. ‘Pummel' Böttner returned his 16th victory – another Liberator- and 8./JG 77 suffered only minor material losses. That day, at least nine B-24s were lost to the combined actions of the fighter force and the Flak arm. It was during this period that 8./JG 77 was taken over by Lt Wilhelm Mockel. Born in 1918 Mockel had spent a number of years as an instructor in training schools. Sent in mid-1944 to I./JG 53 operating in Romania, he was then posted to III./JG 77, a Gruppe short on officers. Mockel may have volunteered for combat but he had no experience of it - unlike the survivors of the African and Italian campaigns, aces such as Hackler or Böttner.

 July 28, 1944 saw the 15th USAF mount its fourteenth attack on the Romanian oilfields; some 350 bombers were launched, fully intending in this last phase of the assault to deal the final blow to the defense of the oilfields and refineries. Some twenty four-engine bombers were lost, two of which were attributed to Uffz Böttner. But in the course of the fighting 8./JG 77 lost two pilots, both probably reinforcements having arrived in Romania at the beginning of 1944. On  July 31, three hundred and fifty bombers were split between Bucharest and Ploesti. 7./JG 77 was decimated and 8./JG 77 lost three aircraft and one pilot killed. The Kapitän Mockel was wounded and temporarily put out of action (his post would then probably have been taken over by Hackler). Poorly guided from the ground, the Bf 109s were directed towards the escort which was present in much greater numbers, resulting in substantial losses.

On August 6, an internal note from the Luftwaffenmission in Romania stated brutally; Romanian airspace can no longer be defended by aircraft because 1°) the enemy is far superior in number; 2°) the German and Romanian fighter pilots no longer have enough experience. Indeed, apart from a few 'old hands', the ranks of III./JG 77 were largely made up of novices. Attacks could only be mounted when certain of having at least a slight tactical advantage. III./JG 77 had thus become no more than an auxiliary force, the defenders relying mainly on the Flak as well as on the units producing smoke to mask the objectives.

See "Luftwaffe Fighters - Combat on all Fronts" Vol I for a detailed biography of III./JG 77 ace K-H Böttner, illustrated with rare photos from his album. Still available from publisher Mortons here Only £9.99 (132 glossy A-4 pages, 200 illustrations, 80,000 words)

G-6 Gustav 'Black 2' flown by Uffz. Jürgen Kilian 8./JG 77

Sunday 10 September 2023

Tagebuch Johann Twietmeyer - "Mein Leben als Jagdflieger im JG 77" - first victory 10 June 1944 and the end in Romania, August 20-30, 1944


A small recent 'discovery' that might be of interest to blog readers who know German; German youtube channel Bacuffz.com has published a 'podcast' series based on an unpublished memoir from Johann Twietmeyer who flew in III./ JG 77 during the summer of 1944. Twietmeyer of course also contributed to Jochen Prien's mammoth four-volume history of the Geschwader. Born on 27 September 1924 (Deichhäuser Heide, Delmenhorst) Twietmeyer joined the Luftwaffe in October 1941 and trained at the FFS A/B 33 (Quakenbrück) before passing through Villacoublay and the EJG Süd. In September 1943 he was posted to 7./JG 77 (later 10. Staffel when the Gruppe was 'aufgestockt' to four Staffeln).

On Saturday 10 June a large formation of US- fighter bombers (46 P-38s of the 82nd FG) escorted by 48 1st FG Lightnings raided the Romana refinery in Ploesti. While the Americans managed to drop their bombs on the installations before the fog-machines had swung into action, running dogfights broke out south of Bucharest as the Lightnings flew out. III./JG 77 claimed eleven P-38s downed. Uffz. Twietmeyer of 7./JG 77 remembered; 

 " On that day I was flying the Staffelkapitän Oblt. Erhard 'Maxe' Niese's 'white 1'. Niese was apparently sick and didn't fly the sortie. As was usual his Gustav had a white rudder, the normal means of identifying the machine flown by the formation leader. I was flying the sortie as no. 2 (Rottenflieger) to Fw. Toni Gutweniger. We closed on a group of P-38s. I saw Gutweniger miss his firing pass on the P-38 he had selected to attack but I was able to open up on his No.2 and shot it down for my first victory. Our small formation had broken apart by now ..but when I next looked behind me a whole gaggle of Messerschmitts was on my tail. No doubt assuming that they had a Verbandsführer (formation leader) in front of them from my white tail these were machines from I./JG 53 ! There were no further encounters with the enemy. Myself and my'formation' finally landed back in Otopeni. As I was climbing down from my Gustav a Leutnant from JG 53 came up to me. No doubt surprised at seeing a lowly 'Unteroffizier' he reacted angrily;
" What are you doing flying this machine?! I'm putting in a report about you..'
My response, 'You'd better talk to my boss about that..'
Niese nearly died laughing when I told him what had happened.."

Below; according to his own account, 'Spatz' Twietmeyer finally 'inherited' Niese's 'white 1' (WNr. 162217) and had another white 1 painted on the aircraft so that his regular machine became 'white 11'. Note the white rudder of Niese's Gustav and two rows of victory markings. The heavy fuselage mottling was characteristic of a Mtt. Regensburg machine produced during early 1944. 

In August 1944 Twietmeyer narrowly escaped capture by the Russians when Romania fell;

" On Sunday 20 August, the Soviets launched their decisive attack on Romania - the southern wing of the German front in the East. The first phase began in the Jassy and Dniestr sectors and the Red Army gained ground from the start. Only two fighter Gruppen met the enemy advance, I./JG 53 and III./JG 77. Our transfer orders arrived during the night of 19/20 August. With the Russians breaking the front near Jassy, I./JG 53 and III./JG 77 were sent east to Husi. The technical staff followed in a Ju 52. My Gustav was in the workshop having a new 'clear-vision' canopy fitted so I flew my reserve - a newly arrived pilot Gefr. Fett would transfer my aircraft the next day. Shortly after getting airborne on the 20th we ran into IL-2s escorted by Yaks attacking German ground forces between Jassy and Husi. I closed on a Yak-9 strafing German vehicles and brought it down - hit in the engine and wing it pulled up, did a half roll and crashed on the airfield perimeter at Jassy. My aircraft had also taken hits - in the engine and right wing. Attempting to put down at Birlad, the landing gear of my 109 collapsed and I crashed and turned over on the runway. I was taken to the local hospital with a superficial head injury. Late that afternoon, I looked out of the window to see Romanian soldiers throwing their rifles down at the side of the road. I decided to leave and head for Focsani. Climbing into a damaged German vehicle, we drove to Tecuci. The roads were clogged with unarmed Romanian soldiers but we were greeted in a friendly manner. The roads were littered with all types of equipment. We initially thought perhaps that this was an isolated, perhaps mutinous group of Romanians. It wasn't until we reached Tecuci that we learned what was really going on..."

On the evening of the 23rd, on the advice of some of his close friends, Romanian King Michael I (King Mihai) summoned Prime Minister (Marshall) Ion Antonescu and had him arrested. The violently anti-communist Antonescu - who had aligned Romania with the Germans - was the only obstacle between the Romanian government and Stalin. The King and those close to him believed they could make a deal with the Soviets and save the country. In fact the King could not even save his throne. In a radio message, the new government announced the arrest of the Marshall and ordered the Romanian troops to stop fighting so that the country could negotiate a separate peace. In several officers' messes, Germans and Romanians were having their evening meal when they heard the King's proclamation. Stunned, the Romanian officers apparently stood up and saluted each other before departing to get their orders. Historian Lukacs has described these events as the most successful 'coup d'etat' of WW II, presumably since the Axis alliance started to 'unravel' from this point on.. The 24th saw the first fighting between Romanian and German forces.

Uffz. Twietmeyer (10/JG 77) recalled ;

"Comrades were attacked by Romanian Bf 109s. However, we were forbidden to retaliate by order of General Alfred Gerstenberg, commander of the German forces in Romania. We were reminded that only a small proportion of Romanian airmen were against us. The majority remained on our side.."

The King's proclamation, however, changed this view drastically. On the 24th, III./JG 77 - or what was left of it - returned to Mizil. According to Twietmeyer;

"No one knew what was really happening and all kinds of rumours spread rapidly. All German aircraft in the theatre started to gather in Mizil from the Go 145 to the Gigant (Me 323). H.-U. Rudel's Geschwader was there. In the early hours of the 24th, I flew a sortie over Bucharest with Lt Riedel. We were attacked by eight Romanian Bf 109s. After landing, we finally received permission to return fire. Immediately, III./JG 77 and I./JG 53 took off to strafe Boteni airfield. Uffz. Jochinke encountered a Romanian Bf 109 and shot it down.."

At Otopeni, two Me 323 "Gigants" landed to disembark two companies of SS troops tasked with protecting the Germans in Bucharest. The aircraft were to take the female auxiliaries to Hungary. Six members of 10./JG 77 sent to Boteni, Bucharest failed to arrive. The last sorties were flown from Focsani on 25 August - Fw Wilhelm Skreba, a veteran of 9./JG 77 failed to return from a sortie. The last III./JG 77 Bf 109s reached Mizil and Targsorul on the 26th.

Meanwhile a number of recce sorties were flown during which Ohfr Bruno Duwe (10./JG 77) was wounded. The last US raid on Romania took place on 26 August. That afternoon Major Harder took command of a column of vehicles bringing together scattered elements of I./JG 53, II./JG 301, IV./NJG 6 and various other units. They evacuated Targsorul Nou and reached Hungary after much fighting. On 28 August III./JG 77 carried out a recce of their 'retreat' routes to ensure that they were still free. The ground personnel departed by road to Hungary. Throughout the morning, the last 109s took off and headed north, each pilot taking along his first mechanic (as during the evacuation of Africa). At 10:00, Lt. Hans Renzow's Schwarm took off. The pilots got lost and had to land at Maros-Varsahely, stranding the eight men (four pilots and four mechanics) for four long days. It wasn't until a He 111 in difficulty landed and the airmen were able to pump out its fuel tanks that they could set off again in the direction of Senndorf. There they met up with the remnants of their Gruppe which was assembling at Vienna/Seyring. Wounded pilots in Romanian hospitals (Büttner, Pichler) were handed over to the Russians on 30 August. Pichler did not return from captivity until 1950. Having undergone an amputation Uffz. Herbert Büttner (WIA 28 July 1944) could not work and was returned home sooner.

On 1.1.45 Twietmeyer flew the 'Bodenplatte' mission  at the controls of his Bf 109 K-4 'red 7'. Hit by ground-fire while strafing an American road column during the raid on Antwerp (Deurne) he made a forced landing in a field (Rosendaal) and escaped unhurt. Post-war he did not fly again until aged 75! He qualified on gliders, passed the medical and made another 400 flights until age 88. He passed away in 2019 aged 95. He wrote his experiences in his diary and copied them down for his family in 2012 - there is a fair amount of (no doubt) half-remembered 'dialogue' but interesting nonetheless. In total he filed at least five claims. Bacuffz.com has split his diary into fourteen parts. Part 9 below  

Wednesday 6 September 2023

Hasegawa Bf 109 G "White 2" (WNr. 412605) of IV./JG54 - Eastern Front, winter 1943-44


The latest model from Duncan Black as seen on britmodeller is well worth 'reposting' here with Duncan's permission.

" This is my first completion in over 18 months!! It originally started as a quick build to try out the hairspray technique for making a winter distemper finish. Hasegawa kit but I used some spare parts from an Eduard kit for the propellor, spinner, wheels and some cockpit parts which help add some extra detail. Painted with Mr Hobby acrylics to depict W Nr. 412605 'White 2' of IV./JG54 some time in winter 1943/44 on the Eastern Front..."


What an amazing finish. It totally captures the look of a heavily worn winter whitewash. Great job Duncan!

Duncan's build just happened to coincide with the publication of a photo-series of the same machine in the latest volume from the Prien team (JfV Teil 15/II - Einsatz im Osten). See also Vol II of Philip Saintes superb history of JG 54 published by Lela Presse; the images below show 'white 2' being prepared for a sortie (freie Jagd or Begleitschutz für Schlachtflieger) and getting airborne from a base on the northern sector of the Eastern Front, west of Leningrad (possibly Idritsa or Dno).  

At the turn of the year 1943-44 IV. Gruppe comprised a Stab flight and two Staffeln, 10. Staffel and 11. Staffel. Gkr. was Hptm Rudolf Sinner and the Staffelkapitän and ace of 10 Staffel was Oblt. Robert Weiss while 11. Staffel was led by Oblt. Erwin Leykauf. While serviceability and readiness levels were low during January 1944 with some sorties flown being broken off because of poor weather, Weiss ('white 10') filed four claims on 15 January, a further four on 17 January and four more on 25 January to reach 94 victories. Other 10. Staffel pilots of note included Obfw. Karl Brill (29th on 24 January) and Obfw. Kurt Olsen (42nd on 6 February). A matter of months later the unit would be transferred back to Germany and a third Staffel added to the Gruppe. 

Tuesday 5 September 2023

Unit history of III./ZG 26 reprinted (Lela Presse)


publishers blurb

" It may seem surprising in the context of a unit history to cover just a single Gruppe. However, III./ZG 26 - which started WW II as a Bf 109 unit - was 'detached' early on from its parent Geschwader and fought a very 'independent' war. Having received twin-engine Bf 110s during the Phoney War, the unit was largely deployed in the West and over England during 1940. Rested at the end of 1940, like all Zerstörer Gruppen, III./ZG 26 was sent to the Mediterranean in early 1941, where the unit's heavy fighters mainly supported the advance of the Afrika Korps while escorting shipping supplying the German Army in Africa. The Bf 110s also served as 'ad-hoc' transports ferrying in fuel in their 900 ltr drop tanks to be pumped out into jerry cans. In 1943, after the fall of Tunisia and facing the numerical superiority of the Allied air forces, III./ZG 26 returned to Germany and equipped with heavy weapons - including BR 21 rocket grenade launchers - was thrown into the bloody combats above the Reich. The Bf 110s were decimated and the unit was dissolved in mid-1944..."

Reader's review

".. a war diary of a unique Luftwaffe unit, III./26 saw action action from 1939 to 1944, when it was disbanded for lack of personnel, decimated above the dying Reich, its ME-110s by then obsolescent and out-classed by Allied long-range escort fighters. The talented (the word is weak when you know the talent of the author! ) Jean-Louis Roba has reconstructed, page by page and virtually day by day, the glory days and dark hours of a very special unit that flew for 90% of its time on an aircraft that was innovative and elegant but under-powered and under-equipped, which in no way detracted from the courage of its crews and technical personnel. On the contrary, because they were called upon to fight on almost every front. This is an excellent reference work, lavishly illustrated with a number of colour photos and written with great rigour. A book for enthusiasts of Second World War air history, but also for model makers eager to find new subjects .."

A 176-page book with 380 photos and 28 color profiles. French text. A 15-page pdf extract is available to view on the Lela Presse web site here

Also on this blog; The "Luchy" trial - III./ZG 26 pilot murder

Sunday 3 September 2023

Emils of Jagdgruppe 101 (JG 77)


In September and October 1939 one of the less well-known Jagdwaffe units to operate over Poland was Jagdgruppe 101. The unit spent the winter of 1939/40 in northern Germany tasked with defending the northern borders of the Reich. The unit's Emils featured a cartoon 'running dog' emblem on the cowling. The only Kennziffer visible may be 'yellow 6'. The machines are finished in the dark green splinter scheme. Note the outline form of the numeral - a markings characteristic of JGr. 101 and the small size fuselage Balkenkreuz. Subordinated to the Stab/ JG 77, a few machines from this unit participated in the 'Luftschlacht über der Deutschen Bucht' on 18 December 1939. The unit was dissolved early in 1940, its pilots being posted to other units during February 1940. A number were incorporated into ZG 1. (cf. Prien, " Der Sitzkrieg" JfV Teil 2 page 507). 

(Note the lower image was on the same negative strip but features a later '1940' scheme - click on the images to view large)

Also on this blog

Saturday 2 September 2023

Ukrainian Air Force 'drone-killer' ace Vadym Vorochylov of the 204th BrTA, call sign "Karaya 1"


Interview extract with Vadym Vorochylov, famed UkAF 'drone-killer' ace of the 204th BrTA (Ukrainian AF Tactical Aviation Brigade). Vadym Oleksandrovych Voroshylov is a Ukrainian fighter pilot and 'Hero of Ukraine' after bringing down at least five Iranian Shahed-136 'suicide-drones' in early October 2022. He took his call sign in honour of JG 52 ace and the most successful fighter pilot all time Erich Hartmann.. 

Below; Maj. Vorochylov seeing in the New Year in front of MiG 29 'blue 43' of the 204th BrTA armed with R-73 and R-27 air-to-air missiles (AA-10 Alamo and AA-11 Archer)

(I): You are active on your Instagram page, you don’t hide your face, people in the streets recognise you and thank you. Do Russians send you threats?

(VV): Not at all. At all! I was very surprised by this. Maybe that’s because their leadership says we don’t have any aircraft and that they destroyed everything right away (smiles)? And they don’t want to say anything about Ukrainian pilots in their information space so that their citizens won’t be surprised?

Some of their media outlets said - I’ll quote them - "A Ukrainian Nazi pilot has been shot down." There was a short video where they mentioned my call sign and talked about Hartmann, who received the Iron Cross from Hitler.

(I): But the propagandists don’t mention that Hartmann was exonerated in the Russian Federation in 1997, and that they admitted unlawfully sentencing him to 10 years in the camps "for war crimes"...

(VV): Yes… The story of my call sign goes way back to 2014, when the Russians launched their propaganda machine and started calling Ukrainians "Nazis". Then my old Instagram account was hacked. I created a new one and was wondering what username to choose. I’m interested in world history and I knew about Hartmann. So I decided to sign it as Karaya. It was mostly a joke precisely because of the Russian propaganda, to make fun of them (laughs). And then it kind of stuck. Everyone knows that Hartmann was a genius pilot. He went through Stalin’s camps, then served in West Germany and even trained American pilots. He said in an interview in his old age that when he was young, he just wanted to fly and did not support the policy of his military and political leadership.

(I): By the way, when I hear the call sign Karaya, I think of it as being very similar to the Ukrainian words ‘kara’, ‘karaty’ [punishment; to punish - ed.] …

(VV): (Laughs). If you look at it like that, it makes more sense [‘Karaya’ is a German love song - ed.]. If you see parallels with Ukrainian, it sounds more relevant (smiles). 

More on Vorochylov on my 'Jet and Prop' blog here

And see the latest issue of Avions magazine issue no. 254 here
Christophe Cony  article  "Vadym Vorochylov, un curieux héros ukrainien"

Full "Ukrainska Pravda" interview with Vadym Vorochylov here