As soon as he was not called in the press: "the mountain avenger", "criminal and victim in one person", "reluctant hero", "martyr and murderer." We are talking about Vitaly Kaloev, who overnight lost his family in a plane crash, and who killed an air traffic controller for this, who could not prevent a fatal collision of planes.
Then, in July 2002, the passenger liner from Russia Tu-154 and the mail Boeing-757 from Bahrain were not destined to disperse in the skies of Germany. The tragedy claimed the lives of 69 Russians, including 52 children from Bashkiria, who were flying to rest in Spain, and two Boeing pilots.
The 36-year-old air traffic controller Peter Nielsen, a spokesman for the "Skyguide" campaign, was found guilty of the tragedy, whose duty fell on that terrible night. Although the investigation was never able to establish exactly whether the personal carelessness of the person on duty was to blame for the tragedy, or it was a technical failure of the system.
But it was the dispatcher who paid for everything with his life: two years after the plane crash he was killed by V. Kaloev on the doorstep of the house in front of his wife and children. The murder weapon was a jackknife, which investigators later found not far from the house. Vitaly Kaloev, as the culprit in the murder of the air traffic controller, was then sentenced to 8 years in prison, but after 5 years and 3 months he was released on parole for exemplary behavior.
It should be said that personally for the Kaloev family, this catastrophe was the result of some monstrous tragic coincidences. The Kaloevs family lived in Vladikavkaz, but 2 years before the tragedy, Vitaly Kaloev, a civil engineer by profession, left for Spain under a contract from a construction company.
He saw his wife and children (5th grader Kostya and 4-year-old Diana) for the last time 9 months ago, and now he was ready to meet them in Barcelona to spend a vacation together.
It so happened that the family could not fly to him on the scheduled flight two days earlier, as there was a delay in the preparation of the necessary documents. And when everything was successfully resolved, they were offered “last minute tickets” for the Bashkir Airlines flight, for their last flight 3 hours before departure.
Vitaly Kaloev learned about the plane crash as one of the first relatives of the victims, as he was in Europe, closest to the place of the tragedy. He was the first to arrive in Germany, where the remains of the Tu-154 were cordoned off by the police within a radius of 10 km. But he, as a relative of the victims, was allowed to search for the remains of his wife and children.
For ten whole days he was looking for relatives. He managed to find his daughter Diana three kilometers from the wreckage of the plane, and, moreover, the body was not injured at all ...
Today, Kaloev's only consolation is his daily visit to the graves of his wife and children in Vladikavkaz.
Skyguide employees recall that Kaloev came to Switzerland for funeral events a year after the tragedy. Even then, he behaved quite aggressively and very frightened the director of the company. He constantly asked everyone: who is to blame for the plane crash?
It should be mentioned that the Swiss justice did not prosecute Skyguide, and the dispatcher was not punished either, he was not even fired from his job. Perhaps such connivance of the judges pushed Vitaly Kaloev to complete the case by lynching?
As Kaloev himself explained, he did not receive any relief or satisfaction from revenge, and went to murder only because "he exhausted all the possibilities to achieve justice in a legal way." “I think every person in such a situation has the right to administer justice with his own hands, ” he said.
After returning to his homeland, Kaloev was sent a letter about the debt to the Swiss state in the amount of 150 thousand francs for being in prison.
Today Vitaly Kaloev works as a Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Construction Policy of North Ossetia.