Anti-Ukrainian statements onboard Russian planes

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2014/08/13 • Featured, Russia

The verbal war between Russia and Ukraine took a strange turn. Pilots of Russian airlines allow themselves anti-Ukrainian statements. A BBC journalist who ended up onboard a Russian flight returning from a Bulgarian resort to Moscow bore witness to the strange situation.

Having boarded the plane in the Bulgarian town of Burgas on August 11, the passengers of Russian airline UTair heard a strange announcement from the pilot:

We don’t have any official instructions from the Russian government, but I don’t want to fly over Ukraine

The BBC journalist who was among the Russian passengers survived a second surprise when the pilot’s words were met with an ovation by the passengers. After this the flight attendants offered the passengers to sign a petition demanding that Russian planes not only over Ukraine “as they were unsure of the safety of such flights because of well-known events happening in this country.”

As can be seen on the route map, the route from Burgas to Moscow lies over central Ukraine, far from the combat zone in the east of the country where the Malaysia Airlines plane was downed. Russian media reported that the plane was downed by Ukrainian soldiers, rejecting the version that Kyiv and western politicians insist on, that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists using a missile air-defense system imported from Russia.

“To land in the capital of the Russian Empire – Moscow” 

It is interesting that such political statements on Russian flights have nothing to do with the safety of the flights and are even made on flights going far to the north of Ukrainian borders. Former editor-in-chief of Internet publication lenta.ru Galina Tuchenko wrote about her friend who landed in Vnukovo airport on her Facebook page.

“Dear Transaero employees, can you talk to your crews, so that they don’t broadcast their beliefs to the passengers?

My friend just landed in Vnukovo, called me angrily, he cannot post in on social networks yet, he asked me to do it. Flight UN 252 from Riga, the chief pilot was called Maxim. I will follow with quotes only: “We will fly over Belarus whose air-defense system will protect us from Ukraine and its missiles.” Before landing:

We are beginning to descend to land in the capital of the Russian Empire – the city of Moscow.

The same in English. Russian passengers gathered data to write a collective complaint.

What does this look like? How is such a think even possible?”

The company did not take long to investigate, and the results were also posted on Galina Timchenko’s page on the following day. The message stated the passengers themselves were worried about the possibility of flying over Ukraine, that all passengers save one, “who was possible the source of information, were satisfied with the high level of service,” and as to the announcement before the landing, the pilot “told the passengers the plane was arriving in the capital of the Russian Federation, the hero city of Moscow.”

Editor’s note: The attitude of Russian pilots appears to be prevalent, with a Slovak embassy employee tweeting a similar story:


Source: Radio Liberty
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina
Editor: Mat Babiak

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  • Peter Riebeek

    Dear Passengers. We will now be landing in the Centre of the World, Pride of the Strongest Culture that ever existed. Rulers of the World. The Imperial City of … Paris

  • Kruton

    Russians have big mouths,thats a fact.

    • blobclark

      and they lack culture or as they say “kulturii” ….but if you ask them , oh those russians will claim they are the most cultured, well read and polite people in the universe as they fall over drunk and ask “are we friends , do you respect me” ?

  • Milton Devonair

    Did they land safely in russia or were there too many banana peels on the runway and drunken airport facility workers?

  • Mazepa

    moscow will be devastated by several nuclear strikes soon enough. Guaranteed.

  • dok

    Why are these people or anyone still flying on Russian airlines. Boycott Russian airlines. Boycott Russia, do not travel to Russia. Do not fund Putin’s dictatorship by giving money to Russia in any way.