Transcripts from Korean Air Flight 007 (1983)

The following document is a condensed transcript of orders and discussions between Soviet military personnel, before and after the shooting down of Korean Air Flight 007. These transcripts were compiled from audio recordings made by American and Japanese intelligence:

Captain Solodkov: “Two pilots have just been sent up, command at the command post, we do not know what is happening just now, it’s heading straight for our Island [Sakhalin] to Terpienie somehow, this looks very suspicious to me, I don’t think the enemy is stupid, can it be one of ours?”
General Kornukov: “Simply destroy [it] even if it is over neutral waters? Are the orders to destroy it over neutral waters? Oh well.”

Kornukov: “Bring him up, bring Osipovich into the prescribed distance. You do not engage him to the target from the aft hemisphere, you do not engage him right on the tail, keep the angle of approach.”
Kozlov: “Roger, executing.”
Kornukov: “Don’t forget, it has cannons in the rear there”
Kozlov: “Roger, executing.”
Kornukov: “But faster, for the fighter, rather, the target is entering the [identification] zone…”
Kozlov: “Wilco”

Osipovich: “On heading 240. Am observing.”
Kozlov: “He has the target in sight.”
Kornukov: “He can see it? How many jet trails are coming from it?”
Kozlov: “Say again.”
Kornukov: “How many jet trails are there, if there are four jet trails then it’s an RC-135”

Titovnin: “Can you see the target, 805?”
Osipovich: “I see both visually and on the screen”.
Titovnin: “Roger, report lock-on”.
Kornukov: “Gerasimenko?”
Gerasimenko: “Yes”
Kornukov: “Well, what, don’t you understand? I said bring [him] up to a range of four kilometres, four to five kilometres, identify the target. You understand that weapons are going to have to be used now and you are holding [him] at a range of 10. Give the pilot [his] orders.”

Osipovich: “I see it. I am locked onto the target.”
Kornukov: “Chaika” (Call sign for Far East Military District Air Defence Forces).
Titovnin: “Yes, sir. He sees [it] on the radar screen. He sees [it] on the screen. He has locked on, he is locked on, he is locked on.”
Osipovich: “The target isn’t responding to the call.”
Titovnin: “805, Is the target’s heading 240?”
Osipovich: “Affirmative. The target’s heading is 240 degrees.”
Titovnin: “Roger, arm your weapons”
Osipovich: “Turned on”

Kornukov: “Comrade General, Kamenski, Good morning. I am reporting the situation. Target 60-65 is over Terpenie Bay, tracking 240, 30 kilometres from the State Border. The fighter from Sokol is six kilometres away. Locked on, orders were given to arm weapons. The target is not responding to identify. He cannot identify it visually because it is still dark, but he is still locked on.”
Kamenski: “We must find out, maybe it is some civilian craft or God knows who.”
Kornukov: “What civilian? [It] has flown over Kamchatka! It [came] from the ocean without identification. I am giving the order to attack if it crosses the State border.”

Titovnin: “Maistrenko Comrade Colonel, that is, Titovnin.”
Maistrenko: “Yes”.
Titovnin: “The commander has given orders that if the border is violated, destroy.”
Maistrenko: “May [be] a passenger [aircraft]. All necessary steps must be taken to identify it.”
Titovnin: “Identification measures are being taken, but the pilot cannot see. It’s dark. Even now it’s still dark.”
Maistrenko: “Well, okay. The task is correct. If there are no lights it cannot be a passenger [aircraft].”

Osipovich: “Yes, I’m approaching the target. I’m going in closer.”
Osipovich: “The target’s (strobe) light is blinking. I have already approached the target to a distance of about two kilometres.”
Osipovich: “The target is at 10,000 metres (33,000 ft).”
Osipovich: “What are instructions?”
Osipovich: “The target is decreasing speed.”

Osipovich: “I am going around it. I’m already moving in front of the target.”
Titovnin: “Increase speed, 805”.
Osipovich: “I have increased speed.”
Titovnin: “Has the target increased speed, yes?”
Osipovich: “No, it is decreasing speed.”
Titovnin: “805, open fire on target.”
Osipovich: “It should have been earlier. How can I chase it? I’m already abeam of the target.”
Titovnin: “Roger, if possible, take up a position for attack.”
Osipovich: “Now I have to fall back a bit from the target.”
Kornukov: “Gerasimenko, cut the horseplay at the command post, what is that noise there? I repeat the combat task: fire missiles, fire on target 60-65.”
Gerasimenko: “Wilco”

Kornukov: “Comply and get Tarasov here. Take control of the Mig-23 from Smirnykh, call sign 163, call sign 163, he is behind the target at the moment. Destroy the target!”
Gerasimenko: “Task received. Destroy target 60-65 with missile fire, accept control of fighter from Smirnykh”
Kornukov: “Carry out the task, destroy!”
Kornukov: “Oh, [?expletives] how long does it take him to get into attack position, he is already getting out into neutral waters? Engage afterburner immediately. Bring in the MiG 23 as well… While you are wasting time it will fly right out.”
Titovnin: “805, try to destroy the target with cannons.”
Osipovich: “I am dropping back. Now I will try a rocket.”
Titovnin: “Roger.”
Osipovich: “Twelve kilometres to the target. I see both [planes].”
Titovnin: “805, approach target and destroy target.”
Osipovich: “Roger, I am in lock-on.”
Titovnin: “805, are you closing on the target?”
Osipovich: “I am closing on the target, am in lock-on. Distance to target is eight kilometres.”
Titovnin: “Afterburner. AFTERBURNER, 805!”
Osipovich: “I have already switched it on.”
Titovnin: “Launch!”
Osipovich: “Z.G.” (Fuel panel light)

Osipovich: “I have executed the launch.”
Kornukov: “Well, what do you hear there?”
Gerasimenko: “He has launched.”
Kornukov: “I did not understand.”
Gerasimenko: “He has launched.”
Kornukov: “He has launched, follow the target, follow the target, withdraw yours from the attack and bring the MiG-23 in there.”
Osipovich: “The target is destroyed.”
Kornukov: “Did Osipovich see the missiles explode? Hello?”
Gerasimenko: “He fired two missiles.”
Kornukov: “Ask him, ask him yourself, get on channel three and ask Osipovich did he or did he not see the explosions?”
Gerasimenko: “Right away.”
Gerasimenko” “805, did you launch one missile or both?”
Osipovich: “I launched both.”

Gerasimenko: “The target turned to the north.”
Kornukov: “The target turned to the north?”
Gerasimenko: “Affirmative.”
Kornukov: “Bring the [MiG] 23 in to destroy it!”
Kornukov: “Well, I understand, I do not understand the result, why is the target flying? Missiles were fired. Why is the target flying? [obscenities] Well, what is happening? Well, I am asking, give the order to the Controller, what is wrong with you there? Have you lost your tongues?”
Gerasimenko: “I gave the order to the Chief of Staff, the Chief of Staff to the Controller, and the Controller is giving the order to…”
Kornukov: “Well how long does it take for this information to get through, well, what, [you] cannot ask the results of firing the missiles, where, what, did [he] not understand or what?”

Kornukov: “Altitude, what is the altitude of our fighter and the altitude of the target?…Quickly, the altitude of the target and the altitude of the fighter!…Why don’t you say anything?… Gerasimenko!”
Gerasimenko: “I am asking…”
Kornukov: “Hurry up, guys, that’s a real target. Hello, [call sign] Mastak, Mastak, Mastak, Mastak, Mastak, Mastak, Mastak, Mastak, Mastak.”
Gerasimenko: “Altitude of target is 5,000.”
Kornukov: “5,000 already?”
Gerasimenko: “Affirmative, turning left, right, apparently it is descending.”
Kornukov: “Destroy it, use the 23 to destroy it, I said!”
Gerasimenko: “Roger, destroy it.”
Kornukov: “Well, where is the fighter, how far from the target?”
Gerasimenko: “Comrade General, they cannot see the target.”
Kornukov: “They cannot see the target?”
Titovnin: “They lost the target, Comrade Colonel, in the area of Moneron.”
Novoseltsky: “In the area of Moneron?”
Titovnin: “The pilots do not see it, neither the one nor the other. The radio forces have reported…that after the launch, the target entered a right turn over Moneron.”
Novoseltsky: “Uh-huh.”
Titovnin: “Descending. And lost over Moneron””