President Putin’s plane: What we know

When President Vladimir V. Putin travels abroad – as he did this week North Korea And Vietnam to forge alliances and nurture security relationships amid Russia’s war in Ukraine – he often flies outdated Soviet-designed Ilyushin Il-96 series jets.

With his latest trip coming shortly after the plane crash that killed two other world leaders, President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran And Vice President Saulos Chilima of MalawiKremlin spokesman Recently felt the need to reassure the Russian public that Putin’s plane was “very reliable”.

Although Russian airlines have abandoned Ilyushin models in favor of newer Western models – neither of the country’s major airlines have. Aeroflot And Rossiyacurrently lists any Ilyushin aircraft in its commercial passenger fleet – Mr Putin seems steadfast in his commitment.

Go with fighter jet, Mr. Putin flew the Il-96 on a whirlwind day trip in 2023 for talks with leaders in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Earlier that year, another plane in the government’s Il-96 fleet was tracked stopping at airports in Washington and New York to pick up supplies. Russian diplomat who the Kremlin said had been ordered to leave the United States.

In 2018, Mr. Putin traveled to Finland on the Il-96 – and was accused of briefly violating NATO airspace – for a summit meeting with former US President Donald J. Trump.

Little is known about the Rossiya special flight squadron, also known as the 235th separate aviation detachment, which is responsible for operating the Kremlin’s aircraft, including the Il-96, the Tu- 214 and Mi-38 helicopters. Russian state media report There are 2,500 people working in the unit.

While using an outdated aircraft may confuse outsiders, Putin may be using the Soviet-designed plane to send a message about Russia’s resilience and strength.

“It was the thinking of a czar, to can fly into the sky with any device he wants.”


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