Russian pranksters “interrogate” Ukrainian missile plant director, find no North Korean trace

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As the story that started from the NYT article about Ukraine allegedly supplying missile engines to North Korea was in full swing, a Russian prankster duo gave a call to the director of Ukraine’s missile plant Yuzhmash, attempting to pry out dirty little secrets. They tried hard, but no secrets were revealed. Serhiy Voit essentially reiterated the official position of Ukraine and its famous engine producers, Yuzhmash and the Yuzhnoye construction bureau: there is no way Ukraine could supply or leak rocket engines to North Korea. However, he said that the Soviet technology could have come to North Korea through China or Russia.

The Russian prankster duo Vladimir “Vovan” Kuznetsov and Alexei “Lexus” Stolyarov dialed up Serhiy Voit. Pretending to be Ukraine’s Head of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov, “Vovan” spoke to Serhiy Voit in Russian, and attempted to provoke the plant director to “tell it how it really is” and pry out the “weakest link” that could be blamed. What Voit told coincided with official state communication on the scandal and the official press releases of the Yuzhmash missile plant and the Yuzhnoye construction bureau:

  • The engines Ukraine is accused of supplying to North Korea, the RD-250s, were produced in the Soviet Union and supplied as part of the Tsyklon rockets to Russia, and were never produced separately;
  • Ukraine has three Tsyklon-2 rockets, and there could be four in Russia;
  • The rockets and documentation are under heavy security;
  • There is no conceivable way that Ukrainian specialists could have leaked the technology directly to North Korea.

He admitted that a leak could have been possible through China, where specialists of the Yuzhnoye construction bureau had been working.

“China could have given [North Korea] something. Well, the construction bureau couldn’t have given anything themselves. China could have found out how we do things. I don’t rule that out. But that our construction bureau went all the way to Korea… that’s impossible. Who would let them there? Through China – yes, it’s possible. That’s possible.”

Voit also told about the cooperation that Yuzhmash and Yuzhnoe construction bureau were starting with Korea – meaning South Korea. That didn’t prevent from Russian state media, including the state military outlet TvZvezda, from spewing misinformation that “Ukraine had cooperated with North Korea for 14 years.”

Despite Russian media getting what they want, and that is to spew more anti-Ukrainian propaganda, the conversation with Voit revealed that Ukraine really does not have anything to hide and is an honest player in the global non-proliferation initiatives. What it did prove, however, is that had Ukrainian officials spoken Ukrainian, and not Russian, in their daily lives, they would have been immune to the prankster games of a country with which they are essentially at war.

Yuzhmash responded with a press statement reminding of the projects the plant was working on with South Korea. As to the joke about handing over the enterprise to Elon Musk, which the director calmly believed, the enterprise responded that at present, discussions on legislative changes were ongoing to create conditions for attracting strategic investors – something that the pranksters didn’t know, and Russian journalists didn’t bother to find out directly at the enterprise.

We hope this conversation will further clear up the calamity caused by the irresponsible New York Times article. Scroll down to the transcript of the conversation:

Read also: 

Serhiy Voit, general director of Yuzhmash
Hello Oleksandr Valentynovych

Vladimir Kuznetsov (Vovan), Aleksey Stolyarov (Leksus), pranksters:
Serhiy Mykolayovych, hello. I wanted you to come tomorrow.

Serhiy Voit:
OK, when?I will arrive at 12:30 tomorrow. When should I come?

Pranksters:
Let’s make it 6 o’clock.

Serhiy Voit:
At six, I will be at your place at 18:00.

Pranksters:
Did anybody else from the NSDC address you with this question, from my subordinates?

Serhiy Voit:
I think Serhiy Mykhailovych… Diditkovskyi I think it was. Not himself, but through the SSAU, through Holub.

Serhiy Voit:
They said a briefing was needed, I was against it. If there are higher ranks talking about it, why should we? We should only comment something further if they allow. I said that we don’t comment on anything else.

Pranksters:
That’s the right way to do it.

Serhiy Voit:
We have it all on the site, you probably saw it. There’s Bondar Mykhaylo Anatoliyevych. We wrote this equally together with them. We stick to this line, it’s all as it is. I have everything, we found more statistics than them, I basically have everything. Guys from the Security Service, FR (unclear) came, and that’s it, nobody else came.

Pranksters:
Did you raise the documents?

Serhiy Voit:
Yes, we raised everything, they’ll take all that we found, all that we have

Pranksters:
Please bring me them tomorrow.

Serhiy Voit:
Yes, I’ll take them tomorrow, I’ll show you them.

Pranksters:
Are these about 2011? Or something else?

Serhiy Voit:
No, we found them from 1969. Everything is fine there. We gave them to the SBU, they must have everything. I can only tell you the statistics which I have right now, what we found.”Tsyklon 2″ had 105 launches, all were successful. The ones we released. They all go fully, with the product… They go there and are launched.So we launched them and that’s it. Well, not us, but back then, starting from the Soviet Union, they were launched.”Tsyklon 3″ – 121 launches. 112 were successful, 8 were accidents, and one was partially successful. Well, so they write. Well, and that’s… Everything is written, what was launched on it [the engine], and when, and I have this all. What was left, the combat stock as we call it… It’s the “Tsyklon 2” – those which stood as combat stock. I think four of them are left in Russia. I managed to take out three. We have them now, and they have four.

Pranksters:
How could it get there through a third party, please explain to me?

Serhiy Voit:
Well, at present, I can’t imagine how it could get there. It couldn’t. It could only get there through our neighbor [Russia]. They have… they are the developers of this documentation.

Pranksters:
I am interested in… We are going to prepare the briefing for tomorrow, which, as I understand, it will be the most difficult one for us.

Serhiy Voit:
We have all this documentation, for all these cases we have been talking about. We have “Tsyklon 2,” it is lying in the third sector, just so you know. Well, it’s secret, let’s say it that way.

Pranksters:
Serhiy Mykolaiovych, I need….

Serhiy Voit:
We don’t have anybody admitted to it, nobody… well, you understand yourself, strict security.

Pranksters:
Serhiy Mykolaiovych, I need to understand. We need to take one common position. Who here… where did all this come from? Who is guilty, specifically? Because I need to tell this to the president.

Pranksters:
Who is your weakest link? Who can we… well, at least… explain where this all came from…. where could this leak happened? As I understand, you have it all covered there, and nobody from outside can enter.

Serhiy Voit:
We work… well, we almost don’t work with anybody, we just started with [South] Korea, just little things. Our Yuzhnoye construction bureau works with Korea over 14 years. With China – over 20 years. What are they doing there? I don’t know. We don’t get this information.The SBU knows this, the Foreign Intelligence Service knows this, Yuzhnoye construction bureau. We don’t go there, to be honest. We never dealt with this. They work on all these things with them. Maybe something could have gone through China, I think. These are my assumptions. How it could.

Pranksters:
Tell me how it really is, because I need…

Serhiy Voit:
Well it couldn’t happen otherwise, I don’t know! We don’t work at all, we have the constructors’ documentation, we don’t have… It’s all stored in one place so many years, starting from 2001. Meaning, we closed it after 1987.We don’t have access there, we don’t let anything out. Yuzhnoye construction bureau works on some contracts, and what those contracts are, I don’t know. Honestly. I told my Security Service guys to come. Come, check what contracts. Take the contracts, so you know, just in case. Because the commission will check. We’ll need to know.

Pranksters:
So what are the weakest links in this story, Yuzhnoye construction bureau? Let’s make it so… One direction, we’ll make it Yuzhnoye, nothing else.

Serhiy Voit:
Yes, we don’t have any. We don’t even have anybody we can suspect, that somebody is working on something. They have many workers, they travel, naturally, they are the weak link. They need to work with them so that they… blabber less.

Pranksters:
Who’s the director?

Serhiy Voit:
Well, the director at this date is Bondar Mykhailo Anatolievych.

Pranksters:
And what “extras” could they have supplied to them?

Serhiy Voit:
To us?

Pranskters:
Well, them. You mean through China?

Serhiy Voit:
No, well, they could have to China… They are helping China develop engines, something else, yes, we understand that perfectly. China could have given [North Korea] something. Well, the construction bureau couldn’t have given anything themselves. China could have found out how we do things. I don’t rule that out. But that our construction bureau went all the way to Korea… that’s impossible. Who would let them there? Through China – yes, it’s possible. That’s possible.

Pranksters:
Serhiy Mykolaiovych, tomorrow you’ll arrive, I just wanted to tell you the news… it’s unofficial so far, this is the decision of the president. So, Yuzhmash will be given away to Elon Musk.

Serhiy Voit:
Well then. We’ll need to corporatize it first…

Pranksters:
I’ll tell about that tomorrow. OK, then I’ll be waiting for you with the documents.

Serhiy Voit:
OK, good bye.

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  • zorbatheturk

    Maybe these pranksters can ring up Kim Jong Un next and do a Q&A session.

  • Scradje

    They’re not ‘pranksters’. No such thing in pootlerstan. They’re just troll scum working for the kremlin.

  • veth

    But they dont phone Putin to speak about MH17, or his 200 billion dollars off-shore………..

    • zorbatheturk

      Putin’s number is not in the phone book.