Tuesday, October 16, 2018 | ePaper

Putin ordered plane shot down during Olympics threat

  • Print


Al Jazeera News :
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the shooting down of a Turkish passenger jet after a bomb threat was made just before the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony.
Putin opened up about the order in a new documentary titled Putin. In it, the president said he received a phone call from security officers as the ceremony was about to start.
Pilots of a Turkish Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800 flying from Kharkiv in Ukraine to the Turkish city of Istanbul reported that a passenger on the plane had a bomb and was demanding to land in Sochi, the officers told Putin. During discussions with security officers about how to handle the situation, Putin asked what the standard procedure in cases such as this would be.
The Russian president was told the emergency plan called for the plane to be shot down.
"I told them, 'Act according to the plan,'" Putin said in the documentary, Reuters news agency reported.
Minutes after he made the decision, Putin got another call saying the claim was false and the passenger who had made the bomb threat was intoxicated.  The aircraft, which continued to its destination in Turkey, carried 110 passengers on board.
During the opening ceremony in Sochi, 40,000 people gathered in the city to watch the opening of the Winter Olympics.
Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, on Sunday confirmed the comments in the film.
The incident happened several weeks after unrest in Ukraine - from where the plane originated - led to the ousting of the country's pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich.
Shortly after the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, an event that would eventually lead to the ongoing conflict in Donbas, a pro-Russian Ukrainian region where separatists are fighting the Ukrainian army to gain independence from Kiev.
Putin's remarks come a week before presidential elections take place in Russia, with the long-serving leader poised to win another term.
It also comes several months before Russia's next big sporting event, the 2018 World Cup, which will be held in several cities across the vast country. Russia is on a high alert for that event.

More News For this Category

Saudi Arabia warns against any sanctions over missing Khashoggi case

Saudi Arabia warns against any sanctions over missing Khashoggi case

Reuters, Washington :Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned against threats to punish it over last week's disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as European leaders piled on pressure and two more US

Trump says he is ‘comfortable’ as President despite political battles

Trump says he is ‘comfortable’ as President despite political battles

Reuters, Washington :President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that he was "comfortable" in the White House after almost two years in office, despite political storms over

Prince Harry and wife Meghan expecting a baby

Prince Harry and wife Meghan expecting a baby

AFP, London :Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a baby in the spring of 2019, they announced on Monday as they began a Pacific

May under mounting pressure to rethink Brexit plan

May under mounting pressure to rethink Brexit plan

Reuters, Belfast :British Prime Minister Theresa May was under mounting pressure on Monday to rethink her plan for leaving the European Union after Brexit talks reached a stand-off at the

Imran Khan's party loses seats vacated by him in by-poll

Imran Khan's party loses seats vacated by him in by-poll

PTI, Islamabad :Pakistan's deposed premier Nawaz Sharif's PML-N recovered some ground in the by-elections by eating up the votes of prime minister Imran Khan's PTI, winning four out of 11

News in brief

Amnesty researcher abducted, beaten in RussiaAP, Moscow Rights group Amnesty International says its researcher in Russia's North Caucasus has been abducted and beaten while reporting on protests in the region.

Trump explains `eligibility` for those who want to come to US

Trump explains `eligibility` for those who want to come to US

PTI, Washington :US President Donald Trump has said that he wants people with merit, who can help, to enter the country and not sneak inside the border illegally."I'm very tough

No jihadists seen exiting Syria buffer on eve of deadline

No jihadists seen exiting Syria buffer on eve of deadline

AFP, Beirut  :Hardline fighters have yet to begin withdrawing from a planned buffer zone in northwestern Syria, a monitor and an AFP correspondent said Sunday on the eve of the

Trump thanks Turkey for pastor's release, denies cutting deal

Trump thanks Turkey for pastor's release, denies cutting deal

Reuters, Washington :President Donald Trump said on Saturday the release of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson after two years in Turkish custody was a "tremendous step" toward improved relations with Turkey,

US wants ‘regime change’ in Iran: Rouhani

US wants ‘regime change’ in Iran: Rouhani

Reuters, Tehran :The United States is seeking "regime change" in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, adding that the current US administration is the most hostile that the Islamic