Putin gave order to shoot down 'hijacked' passenger plane at Sochi Winter Olympics


Vladimir Putin ordered for a passenger aircraft reported to be carrying a bomb and targeting the opening of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics to be shot down, the Russian President has said in a newly released film.

In a two-hour documentary posted on Russian social media entitled Putin, the President said he received a phone call from security officers shortly before the opening ceremony was due to start. 

He said he was told a passenger plane travelling from Ukraine to Istanbul had been seized and the hijacker demanding to land in Sochi.

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

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The pilots of a Turkish Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800 flying from Kharkiv to Istanbul reported that one of the passengers had a bomb and the plane had to change course to Sochi, Andrey Kondrashov, who was interviewing the President, said in the film.

There were 110 passengers on board, while over 40,000 people had gathered at the stadium to watch the opening ceremony, the reporter added.

Mr Putin said security officers told him the emergency plan for such a situation called for the plane to be shot down.

“I told them: act according to the plan,” he said. 

After several minutes, Mr Putin received another call informing him it was a false alarm. The passenger was drunk and the plane continued its flight to Turkey. 

Mr Putin said he arrived at the Olympic venue shortly afterwards. 

The documentary comes ahead of Mr Putin’s run for the re-election on Sunday, 18 March.

Many see the election as a foregone conclusion, with Russian voters expected to overwhelmingly vote for Mr Putin.

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