Tuesday, May 22, 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

Europe wary as Italy moves toward populist govt

Europe wary as Italy moves toward populist govt

AP, Rome  :Italy edged toward its first populist government Monday as the president convened the leaders of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the right-wing League in what could be

Maduro re-elected President

Maduro re-elected President

Reuters, Caracas  :Venezuela's socialist leader Nicolas Maduro faced fresh international censure on Monday after re-election in a vote foes denounced as a farce cementing autocracy in the crisis-stricken OPEC

Britain to intensify defence against space 'threats'

Britain to intensify defence against space 'threats'

AFP, London  :Britain will boost the number of defence personnel working in the space sector by a fifth over five years to counter "intensifying threats", Defence Minister Gavin Williamson

Trump demands probe of alleged spying on his campaign

Trump demands probe of alleged spying on his campaign

AFP, Washington :US President Donald Trump demanded Sunday that the Justice Department investigate whether his presidential campaign was "infiltrated" or spied on for political purposes, prompting it to announce

News In Brief

India successfully test fires BrahMos cruise missilePTI, BhubaneswarIndia on Monday successfully conducted the first test of the BrahMos cruise missile aimed at increasing its life from 10 to 15

4 years after coup, Thailand wearies of junta rule

4 years after coup, Thailand wearies of junta rule

AP, Bangkok :Four years after seizing power, Thailand's junta has a singular success it never hoped for: uniting a politically divided nation in growing dissatisfaction with the thin-skinned rule

Cleric Sadr meets Iraq PM Abadi, hinting at coalition

Cleric Sadr meets Iraq PM Abadi, hinting at coalition

Reuters, Baghdad  :Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with Moqtada al-Sadr on Saturday, less than 24 hours after the Shi'ite cleric's bloc was declared winner of Iraq's parliamentary election,

Melania back in the White House after kidney procedure

Melania back in the White House after kidney procedure

Reuters, Washington :President Donald Trump's wife, Melania Trump, returned to the White House on Saturday after undergoing a surgical procedure this week to treat a benign kidney condition, her

Maduro favoured as Venezuelans vote amid crisis

Maduro favoured as Venezuelans vote amid crisis

AP, Caracas :Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is expected to win a second six-year term in Sunday's election, despite a deepening crisis that's made food scarce and inflation soar as

News In Brief

6 cops killed in Naxal attack in IndiaAP, PatnaAt least six police officials were killed and another was critically injured on Sunday when Maoist rebels targeted their vehicle with