Putin’s jet apparently departs Moscow for Valdai and vanishes from radars


Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plane left Moscow in the afternoon of June 24 amid an ongoing rebellion led by PMC Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Belarusian Hajun monitoring organization reported on Telegram on June 24, citing Flightradar24 data.

According to the Russian authorities, the Il-96300PU aircraft took off from Vnukovo Airport at 14:16 local time and was bound to Valdai, one of Putin’s mansions.

However, Hajun said it was not known who was on board the plane, although it was an aircraft which has been used by the Russian dictator several times.

The plane reportedly disappeared from radars near the Russian city of Tver (about 150 kilometers from Valdai), the independent Russian website Important Stories (IStories) said on Telegram on June 24. The media outlet claims that the plane is “equipped to control the armed forces.”

While commenting on Putin’s whereabouts to the state-controlled TASS news agency, his press secretary Dmitry Peskov said his boss “is working in the Kremlin.”

The Ukrainian online publication Ukrainska Pravda cites an unnamed source in the Ukrainian special services who states that “Putin is leaving Moscow, he is being taken to Valdai.”

The Insider, a Russian investigative journalism project, also writes that as of 3 p.m. local time, another Russian special forces aircraft had landed in St. Petersburg.

The independent news outlet Mozhem Obyasnit, in turn, reports that Russian officials are fleeing from Moscow on business jets – at least three flights served by the Special Flight Unit“Rossiya” of the Russian President’s Administration have already departed for St. Petersburg.

Read also: Prigozhin vows to ‘end’ Shoigu, FSB charges Wagner with ‘inciting insurrection’ – updated

On June 23, the chief of PMC Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin declared war on the Russian Defense Ministry after an alleged attack by the Russian army on his mercenaries’ military camp.

As of June 24, according to media reports, Wagner mercenaries took control of Russian military facilities in Rostov and Voronezh.

Prigozhin demands access to Russia’s top military leadership, threatening to “advance towards Moscow.”

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