"Proud Caucasian man was pushed to the wall and told: Take money and shut up"
It's been almost 15 years since the midair collision over Lake Constance. On July 1, 2002, a passenger jet collided with Boeing cargo airplane. 71 people died, including 52 children. Children and wife of architect from Vladikavkaz Vitaly Kaloyev were among them. About two years later, Kaloyev killed air traffic controller Peter Nielsen, who was considered to be the main culprit of the accident. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. There are still many different view on the events of those days: some people sided with grieving father, others condemned Kaloyev for committing a monstrous crime.
Documentary book about Vitaly Kaloyev "Collision" was presented in Moscow yesterday. In this book, Kaloyev tells about the events that changed his life, about the murder of Peter Nielsen and whether it was an accident. Author of the book, Ksenia Kaspari, said that as a journalist, she wrote a lot about this tragedy. "This story shocked me. There were a lot of unknown facts. When Kaloyev was released, my acquaintances from Hollywood came to me and asked to find him. They wanted to buy all the rights for his history for 10 thousand dollars," she said.
"After some time I visited him in Vladikavkaz. First time, I spent a week there. Vitaly Konstantinovich and I talked endlessly for the entire week. Thanks to him, I saw the North Caucasus for the first time, visited both Ingushetia and Grozny, because he was deputy head of the Ministry of Construction and Architecture of North Ossetia at that time. He traveled a lot and I accompanied him. We talked, and talked, and talked. He told me a lot about all the circumstances, about everything he felt," Kaspari said.
Commenting on Kaloyev's actions on the day of murder, Kaspari noted: "He simply had no choice. Proud Caucasian man was pushed to the wall and told: 'Take the money and shut up.' Of course, he couldn't stand this situation and acted the way he did."
According to writer, this book presents a slightly different version of the Nielsen murder, because story that we all know, that Kaloyev came to Nielsen, showed him pictures of his children, Nielsen pushed his hand, pictures fell to the ground and Kaloyev didn't remember what happened next - it's not how it happened. "You will learn what really happened in my book, I don't want to spoil it... It could have be avoided if Nielsen acted differently, that's for sure. Vitaly Konstantinovich himself talks about this all the time. Vitaly Kaloyev expected an apology. It was very important for him. If Nielsen said: 'Forgive me, I wanted to talk with you, but bureaucrats, lawyers didn't allow me to,' then Vitaly Konstantinovich would never do what he did."