Russia’s President Putin ordered plane to be downed in 2014:
Russia’s President Putin ordered the shooting down of a passenger aeroplane that was allegedly carrying a bomb and targeting the opening of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, he says in a new film.
In the two-hour movie, posted on the internet, Mr Putin says that he was told an aeroplane from Ukraine to Turkey was hijacked as the Games were about to start.
It was discovered to be a false alarm, he says. The plane wasn’t shot down.
The film comes ahead of an election he’s expected to win on 18 March.
Mr Putin faces seven challengers but none are anticipated to attract widespread support and also the most prominent opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has been barred from standing.
“I was told: a plane en route from Ukraine to Istanbul was seized, captors demand to land in Sochi,” Mr Putin says in the film, Reuters reported.
The pilots of a Turkish Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800, flying from Kharkiv to Istanbul with 110 people on board, said a passenger had a bomb and had told them to divert the plane to Sochi, reporter Andrey Kondrashov says.
In the film, Mr Putin says security officials told him that the emergency process in such a scenario was to down the aeroplane.
“I told them: act according to the plan,” Mr Putin says.
Minutes later he received another call telling him that it was a false alarm, he says.
He arrived at the Olympic venue in Sochi with Olympic officials shortly afterwards, he says.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has affirmed Mr Putin’s account, Reuters reported.
The first part of the documentary, entitled Putin, was posted on social media accounts, including one belonging to key state media manager and commentator Dmitry Kiselyov, and also a pro-Kremlin YouTube account.