Aircraft shadows Putin as Ukraine descends into civil war
Russia’s “doomsday plane,” the Tupolev Tu-214SR, which is Moscow’s version of the U.S. E-4B, is flying for the fourth consecutive day, illustrating how high tensions are running as Ukraine descends into civil war.
The communications relay aircraft, which normally accompanies Vladimir Putin, is currently circling over the island of Valaam in Lake Ladoga near Finland, where the Russian President is visiting his spiritual home, the Valaam monastery, which is considered to be one of the Russian Orthodox Church’s most revered sites.
The doomsday plane recently flew over Crimea during Russia’s “annexation” of the region and can be tracked via Flightradar24.com. The flight is still currently circling just north of St. Petersburg as of this morning.
Although the plane can usually be relied on to indicate Putin’s location, “It is likely that Russia is aware that the entire world can track Putin based on a free public website, so one probably shouldn’t put it beyond Russia to maybe just send the plane on a wild goose chase now and then so that it doesn’t telegraph to the entire world where Putin may be found next,” reports Zero Hedge.
Violence escalated today as the mayor of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov, Gennady Kernes, was shot in the back by unidentified gunmen and remains in a critical condition.
On Sunday, 300 anti-government protesters were attacked by a 5,000 strong mob of pro-Kiev football hooligans in Kharkov who severely beat numerous demonstrators, leaving 14 injured.