Audio record with alleged threat to Belavia aircraft available on YouTube
An audio recording with an alleged threat by a Ukrainian air traffic controller to scramble jet fighters if a Belavia Belarusian Airlines passenger plane did not return to Kyiv's Zhuliany airport is available on YouTube.
The audio features a conversation between an air traffic controller with the crew of the aircraft, as well as negotiations of the pilots in the cockpit.
As reported earlier, the SBU on October 21 ordered a Belavia passenger plane heading from Kyiv's Zhuliany airport for Minsk to U-turn.
The Ukrainian side was reported to be threatening the Belarusian aircraft with scrambling jet fighters, but the SBU denied the involvement.
Read alsoBelavia expects compensation from Kyiv for aircraft returnIt was later revealed that the SBU's man of interest was an Armenian citizen Armen Martirosyan, who lives in Moscow, working for Russian propaganda media outlets. Known as a stern critic of the Euromaidan revolution, Martirosyan has already claimed he would sue the Ukrainian side for being taken off the plane.
The SBU reportedly searched Martirosyan before letting him board another plane to Minsk.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry summoned the Ukrainian ambassador and instructed Ambassador of Belarus to Ukraine Igor Sokol to deliver a protest note to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.
Later, Belarus Today published a readout of the conversation between the pilots of the plane with 136 people on board and an air traffic controller in Kyiv. The readout reportedly confirms the version of the Belarusian side, although no audio confirmation has been provided as of yet.
"Belavia-840, an order just came in: you must turn back to the Zhuliany airport. If you do not obey, military aircraft will be scrambled for interception," the controller reportedly said, later adding the order for the plane to U-turn was given by Ukraerocenter, the main operating unit of Ukraine's joint civil and military air traffic management system.