Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Source Claims Putin was Intended Target in Plane Disaster

Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow.

In the immediate aftermath of the Malaysian Airlines plane crash on Thursday, some Russian news outlets are reporting the Boeing 777's attackers had in fact intended to target a plane transporting President Vladimir Putin.

A Malaysia Airlines plane crashed into Ukraine's restive Donetsk region on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.

As each side of the Ukraine conflict rushed to accuse the other, an unnamed source from the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, or Rosaviatsia, chimed in, telling Interfax that Ukrainian forces had attempted to shoot down Putin's airplane, which was en route to Moscow from Brazil at the time.

The source claimed that Putin's plane had intersected the Malaysian plane's flight path at 10,000 meters as the latter traveled from Amsterdam toward Kuala Lumpur.

"The presidential aircraft was there at 16:21 Moscow time, the Malaysian one at 15:44," the source told Interfax.

Putin uses an Ilyushin Il-96-300 wide-body airliner, the size and proportions of which are similar to those of the downed Boeing 777.

"As for the coloring, at a remote distance they are almost identical," the source said.

A separate source told news portal, however, that Putin had avoided Ukrainian airspace in light of the conflict.

Rosaviatsia head Alexander Naradko told Interfax that the agency does not comment on or disclose the flight paths taken by the presidential plane.

See also:

Australia's Tony Abbott Blames Russia for Downing Malaysia Plane

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.