The defence and air defence ministers were both replaced and more than 2,000 officers lost their jobs.
My parents were angry, but they were relieved that I was in good condition. They had been afraid the Russians would torture me. They told me not to do it again!
After that I couldn’t show my face outside. I lost my identity and balance. I was still living with my parents, and they were my only friends. For so many people, this thing with the nurse was confirmation that I must be mad or mentally ill.
I approached Red Square three times, trying to find somewhere to land, before discovering a wide bridge nearby. I landed there and taxied into Red Square.
My plan was to land in Red Square, but there were too many people and I thought I’d cause casualties.
You have to be young to be able to do things like that. Now I’m more cautious. I’m proud that I was able to do what I did – psychologically it was a great wall to climb – but sometimes I regret it.
Once this key conflict is eased, it will have a huge impact on the world. It will take time to find a solution. It’s similar to the situation between East and the West at the time of my flight.
I had one companion. He was a teacher from the Ukraine who spoke English so we could communicate a bit. I learnt a few Russian words, but it was hard to concentrate.
I didn’t tell anybody about my plan because I was convinced my family or friends would stop me. I didn’t think much about what would happen afterwards.