Vladimir Putin Reveals That He Ordered A Plane To Be Shut Down In 2014

Vladimir Putin of Russia has revealed that he once gave an order for a plane to be shot down in 2014.

Although he later took the order back, Putin said officials had believed a man with a bomb was targeting the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

In the two-hour film called “Putin,” the Russian president said he was advised on February 7, 2014, that a plane carrying passengers from Ukraine to Turkey had been hijacked – just as the 2014 Winter Olympics Games were to be opened.

“I was told: A plane en route from Ukraine to Istanbul was seized, captors demand landing in Sochi,” Putin said in the film, Reuters reported.

There were 110 passengers aboard. There were reportedly 40,000 in attendance at the Opening Ceremonies.

Security officials believed the plane was taken over by a man with a bomb and changed its course to Sochi.

Putin ordered that the plane be downed as part of the emergency plan.

“I told them: Act according to the plan,” Putin told reporter Andrey Kondrashov, a top state TV presenter and Putin’s current press secretary.

But the terrorist scare turned out to be a false alarm and the Russian leader called off the order. The passenger who caused the panic was drunk and the plane was still on its way to Turkey.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, reportedly confirmed Mr Putin’s account.

Putin was also asked during the interview whether there were any conditions under which the Russian government would give back Crimea to Ukraine.

“What are you talking about? Such circumstances do not exist and never will,” Putin said, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.

Crimea, a territory that formally belonged to Ukraine was annexed by Russia in 2014 following Russian meddling and a disputed referendum.

The film was released just a week before the presidential elections on March 18 that Putin is expected to win.

Putin faces multiple challengers, but none of them are expected to seriously challenge the incumbent. Alexei Navalny, a prominent leader of opposition, has been barred from standing in the election.


Putin, Trump Discuss North Korea In Phone Call

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump discussed the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program in a phone call Thursday, in which the US president took the unusual step of thanking his Russian counterpart for praising America’s economy.

The two heads of state discussed “the situation in several crisis zones, with a focus on solving the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula,” the Kremlin said in a statement, without elaborating.

The White House said the two “discussed working together to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea.”

But Trump’s thanks to Putin took top billing in the US statement.

“President Trump thanked President Putin for acknowledging America’s strong economic performance in his annual press conference,” it said.

Earlier in the day, Putin told his press conference: “Look at how the markets are reacting, they are growing. This shows confidence in the American economy. With all due respect to (Trump’s) opponents, these are objective facts.”

The pair have lavished praise on each other in the past, with commentators describing their cozy relationship as a “bromance.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller is currently investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow to tilt the White House race in his favor.

Washington this week said it was ready to talk to North Korea — which has launched several intercontinental ballistic missiles in recent months — “without preconditions.”

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that while the Trump administration was still determined to force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear arsenal, it was willing to “have the first meeting without preconditions.”

Putin, in his annual press conference with hundreds of journalists in Moscow, welcomed the United States’ “awareness of reality” in the crisis.

However, he called on all sides to “stop aggravating the situation” and said Moscow did not recognize North Korea’s status as a nuclear power.